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Another Loss For Nortel, But Firm's Carrier Business Booms

The company has been struggling for years to regain traction after being hit with the collapse of the dot-com bubble.

Nortel Networks reported a loss in its first quarter but recorded a 21% jump in revenue and a 68% surge in profits in its carrier business in its first-quarter financial report Friday.

The company, based in Canada, said revenue in the quarter increased 11% to $2.76 billion from the year-earlier quarter. The figure was helped by revenue that was released from a joint equipment venture with LG Electronics. Nortel's total loss for the quarter dropped to $35 million from $99 million a year ago.

Nortel said revenue in its Ethernet and enterprise-solutions units declined.

The company has been struggling for years to regain traction after being hit with a double whammy of the collapse of the dot-com bubble and an accounting fraud.

"We continue to make solid progress against the strategy to turn around the company," said Mike Zafirovski, president and CEO, in a statement. "Our relentless focus on execution and our determination to deliver value to customers is strengthening the foundation upon which to build our performance over the balance of 2008 and beyond."

The company's financials have been helped by job cuts this year -- more than 6% of its workforce -- as Nortel seeks to capture contracts in the new generation of wireless and unified communications technologies that are rapidly emerging in global markets.

Nortel trumpeted its successful technology test with LG Electronics in which the companies demonstrated data rates of up to 50 Mbps in mobile LTE in a vehicle traveling more than 60 mph; the test proved the technology could support mobile multimedia applications at those speeds.

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