Strong handset sales swell Motorola's coffers

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Strong handset sales swell Motorola's coffers

Motorola has reported a giant leap in net income and sales for its first quarter as a result of strong handset sales and solid performance at its other units.

The company reported first-quarter net income of $609m, compared with $169m for the same period a year ago. Net sales came in at $8.56bn, up from $6.04bn in the same quarter last year.

In January, Motorola had predicted sales of $6.4bn to $6.8bn.

Motorola is also upbeat about this quarter. forecasting sales of $8.2bn to $8.6bn.

The first-quarter earnings include $238m in pre-tax income. Last year's first quarter included earnings of $225m before tax.

Motorola sold 25.3 million mobile phones during the quarter, up from 16.7 million a year earlier. Sales in its personal communications segment were $4.1bn, up 67% from last year. Mobile phone sales were especially strong in Europe.

Last week rival Nokia reported a first-quarter drop of 15% in net mobile phone sales, to $5.17bn, shipping 44.7 million units.

Motorola also reported a solid sales increase at its semiconductor unit, which it will spin off later this year as a separately listed entity called Freescale Semiconductor. The unit reported sales of $1.4bn, up 21% from $1.15bn. The increase was attributed to sales of products for the networking and wireless markets.

Almost all of Motorola's other product segments, which include mobile telephony networks, Tetra radio systems used by emergency services, set-top boxes and embedded devices, delivered increases in sales and improved operating earnings.

Joris Evers writes for IDG News Service

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