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Alcatel-Lucent will resume growth – Russo

Patricia Russo, chief executive of Alcatel-Lucent has said in an interview with the UK financial daily, the Financial Times, that she believes the company can “resume growth” as it moves through 2007.

In January, Alcatel-Lucent announced a profit warning ahead of its 2006 results as well as forecasting that revenue for the first quarter of 07 will show a year-on-year decline. As a result, Russo concedes that employees are feeling “anxiety” about their future at the newly merged giant but insists that the union between Alcatel and Lucent is a “compelling fit”.

She went on to say that she had “absolutely not one nanosecond of doubt” about the merger.

Speaking about the company’s plans to shed jobs following the merger, Russo told the FT that the company is looking to remove uncertainty about where the cuts occur. In France strikes have been arranged for later this week by trade unions angry at the 1,500 jobs being cut there. Serge Tchuruk, Alcatel-Lucent’s non-executive chairman was last week summoned to a meeting with French Prime Minister, Dominique de Villepin to discuss the redundancies.

Russo told the FT that the company would abide by regional laws governing redundancies across the company’s territory.

Russo predicted that the number of people with internet access will increase from 2.5 billion currently to 5 billion by 2015.

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