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Ericsson: third quarter boosted by 5G sales in China

( - Mobile network equipment maker Ericsson said on Wednesday that 5G sales in China boosted its third-quarter earnings, lifting its shares by over 7% on the Stockholm Stock Exchange.

Ericsson's operating income reached 8.6 billion Swedish kronor in the July-September period, from a loss of 4.2 billion kronor in the same period last year.

Excluding restructuring costs and other items affecting comparability, profit was 9 billion Swedish kronor, easily beating the consensus of 6.1 billion kronor.

Its gross margin improved in all segments in the third quarter, the company said, reaching 43.2%, from 37.8% last year, the highest level since 2006.

In its statement, the telecom gear maker said that 5G sales in China have developed according to plan, contributing positively to profit in the third quarter, and are set to improve further.

Ericsson did not provide any outlook, although the company said it remained "positive" on the longer-term outlook for the industry and said its nine-month results strengthened its confidence in delivering on its 2020 targets.

Ericsson shares are up 7.7% in early trading on Thursday, largely outperforming the STOXX Europe 600 Technology index, which was down 1%. The shares are up 21% year-to-date.

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