Alcatel-Lucent SA (ALU), the French phone- equipment maker revamping its business to end losses, won a $1 billion services contract over eight years with Reliance Communications Ltd. (RCOM) to improve service quality on the Indian carrier’s fixed and wireless networks.
The contract, the Paris-based company’s first publicly announced deal in India in seven months, is a sign that the Indian market is picking up, Rajeev Singh-Molares, president of the Asia Pacific region at Alcatel-Lucent, said during a press conference in Mumbai. He forecast the market will grow in 2013.
“While the Indian market and the industry have had some challenges over the last two years, I think we’re turning the corner,” Singh-Molares said. “I think 2013 will be a year of more stability and back to growth. Back to expanding the kinds of services consumers will be getting.”
Alcatel-Lucent shares jumped as much as 2.9 percent in Paris, and were up 1 percent at 1.27 euros as of 10:13 a.m., taking the advance to 26 percent this year. On Dec. 24, Alcatel ended a 25-year presence on the CAC 40 by leaving France’s leading stock index.
Alcatel-Lucent’s last publicized contract in India, providing Bharti Airtel Ltd. (BHARTI) with equipment to run a high-speed fixed Internet network, was announced in May.
The French company’s third-quarter sales in the Asia- Pacific region declined 1.6 percent to 680 million euros, making up about 19 percent of group revenue. Alcatel-Lucent doesn’t disclose the financial performance of its Indian unit.
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