Ericsson ups dividend, cuts more jobs

Swedish phone company Ericsson announced that it would increase the dividend paid to shareholders despite a drop in profit... and then cut 1,500 jobs.

Net profit fell by 83 per cent to 700 million kronor, the firm said, as its share price fell by more than three per cent in Stockholm trading yesterday.

Ericsson's chief executive officer Hans Vestberg said cost-cutting was inevitable.

An additional 1,500 employees will now be axed, adding to the 5,000 jobs earmarked to go under a cost-cutting plan that was launched in January 2009. In total some 6,500 people will be sent home. Ericsson had some 83,000 staff at the end of 2009.

Meanwhile the company proposed to increase stock-holder dividends to 2 kronor per share, The increase is justifiable, as losses came largely from joint ventures, Vestberg flannelled.

Sony Ericsson posted smaller losses than expected on Friday while ST-Ericsson, the wireless technology joint-venture, lost $125 million in its final quarter of 2009.