PARIS, May 9- Alcatel Lucent, a leading global supplier of telecom equipment, reaffirmed Friday it aims to return to a positive cash flow next year after reporting a lower first quarter loss.
The company’s shares were a top gainer on the Paris CAC 40, showing a gain of over 2.0 percent to 2.99 euros while the index was down 0.58 percent.
Alcatel-Lucent, which is putting more emphasis on Internet equipment as it struggles to return to profitability, has recently been rumoured to be of interest to Nokia as the Finnish telecommunication equipment maker is flush with cash after selling its handset unit to Microsoft.
In the first three months of the year Alcatel-Lucent posted a net loss of 73 million euros ($101 million), against 353 million in the same quarter last year.
“The improvement of Euro 280 million compared to Q1 2013 was driven by the higher level of operating income, lower restructuring charges and a significant reduction in net financial losses,” the French-US company said in a statement.
Alcatel-Lucent’s adjusted operating result switched into the black with a profit of 33 million euros, or 1.1 percent of revenues, compared with a loss of 179 million euros last year.
The company said the turnaround was driven by a significant improvement in profitability in its core networking division while losses were cut in its mobile access division.
“These results show that we are continuing our path towards profitability,” the company’s chief financial officer Jean Raby said in a telephone conference with journalists.