Alcatel-Lucent grows Australian business

Telecommunications vendor's Australian revenues in calendar year 2008 grew US$35 million to reach a total of US$700 million.

Calendar year 2008 was a good one for Alcatel-Lucent: the company's Australian revenues grew AU$42 million (US$35 million) to reach a total of AU$861 million (US$700 million).

According to the telecommunications supply company's financial statement, which it lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on 30 June, its consolidated revenue grew over the year to 31 December 2008 by around 5 percent, netting it a total of AU$861 million (US$700 million) in revenues, up from last year's figure of AU$817 million (US$665 million). The documents were signed by the company's managing director Andrew Butterworth, who was appointed earlier this year.

Alcatel-Lucent attributed the growth to two projects, Sunrise and PLV, and its inclusion of Lucent Technology's sales revenue within its annual figures. Despite the positive result, spokespeople were unable to comment. It is not known what the two projects directly refer to, although in June 2008 Alcatel-Lucent inked an outsourcing deal with Swiss telco Sunrise. PLV is believed to be an internal network transformation project at Telecom New Zealand.

Despite the company's revenue growth, its bottom line took a hit, falling from last year's high of AU$44.7 million (US$36.4 million) to AU$10.2 million (US$8.3 million) this year, which it partly attributed in its balance sheet to AU$8.3 million (US$6.6 million) in restructuring costs and a AU$9 million (US$7.3 million) impairment of goodwill. The company also reported doubling its marketing expenditure from AU$29 million (US$24 million) to AU$59 million (US$48 million) this year.

Alcatel-Lucent earlier this year faced a potentially disastrous situation after Telstra was ousted from the Federal Government's original AU$4.7 billion (US$3.8 billion) National Broadband Network (NBN) proposal. The company had appeared to be relying on Telstra's role in the NBN to give it a spot in the fiber-to-the-home roll out.

However, the company, along with rivals such as Cisco, face an enhanced prospect of Australian sales in the coming next few years due to the Australian Federal Government's decision to spend up to AU$43 billion (US$35 billion) on a much larger NBN. The NBN company has not yet gone to market for technology suppliers, apart from a small optical fiber tender limited to Tasmania.

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