Telecoms equipment vendor Alcatel SA comfortably outgrew the market last year and predicts that the carrier market will continue to grow in the mid-single-digit range for the full year 2006.
The Paris, France-based company said fourth-quarter income rose to 344m euros ($415.9m) from 7m euros ($8.5m), on revenue 7.6% higher at 4bn euros ($4.95bn). For the year it increased income 61.5% to 930m euros ($1.1bn) on revenue 7.3% higher at 13.1bn euros ($15.9bn).
CEO Serge Tchuruk said the wireline market will accelerate with the deployment of IPTV services and the transformation of carrier networks towards IP, but he predicted that growth in the wireless market will probably slow and be focused on emerging market needs and new applications across all geographical regions.
Tchuruk said he expects to see the good dynamics of the end of 2005 will continue into the first quarter with revenue growth above 10%. However, with limited visibility beyond mid-year, Alcatel expects a lower growth rate for the second half.
Tchuruk said Alcatel saw a turnaround in its wireline business in the middle of 2005 as a result of the success of its triple-play strategy coupled with a breakthrough in IP carrier data solutions. In 2005 the company grew its carrier business by over 10%, outpacing the market growth.
Alcatel’s optimism is in marked contrast to the gloom at rival Lucent, which has predicted a 16% fall in first-quarter revenue and cut back its forecast for the year from mid-single-digit growth to essentially flat or an increase in the low-single digits.