Ericsson buoyed by surprise profit uptick

Ericsson shares rose 9.2% on news of a surprise operating profit, alongside some growing sales momentum and the wrap-up of a cost-cutting programme.

It's the second straight quarter of improvement, suggesting a strategy of emphasising profit over growth is taking hold.

The company's tracking well toward a 2020 target operating margin of 10%, according to CEO Borje Ekholm. 

"We have good market traction in networks with a sales growth of 2%, particularly in North America where all major operators are preparing for 5G."

Digital Services gross margin improved to 43%. In Managed Services gross margin improved to 14%.

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