Alcatel-Lucent returns to profit in 2011

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Alcatel-Lucent CEO Ben Verwaayen delivers his speech during the 2011 annual results, in Paris, Friday, Feb. 10, 2012. Telecommunications equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent said that years of cost-cutting helped it make an annual profit in 2011, its first since its trans-Atlantic merger in 2006. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

PARIS (AP) — Telecommunications equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent 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 euro1.1 billion ($1.46 billion) in 2011, compared with a net loss of euro334 million 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.