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Alcatel-Lucent returns to profit in 2011

PARIS - Telecommunications equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) says years of cost-cutting helped it return to profit last year, its first annual net profit since its trans-Atlantic merger in 2006.

The Paris-based company reported a net profit of 1.1 billion euro ($1.46 billion) in 2011, compared with a net loss of 334 million euro in 2010.

Sales to telecommunications network operators fell off sharply over the year as carriers cut back spending amid the worsening economic outlook, especially in Europe.

The company forecast further cost-cutting this year to improve on the 3.9 percent adjusted operating margin achieved in 2011.

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