The gross margin improved by 140 basis points from a year ago to 32.6 percent of revenues, helped by another EUR 94 million in cost savings in the quarter. Adjusted operating profit totaled EUR 136 million or 4.1 percent of revenue, up from 1.3 percent a year ago. Alcatel moved to a positive operating cash flow of EUR 96 million versus a negative EUR 41 million in the year-earlier period, helped by a return to profit at its Access division.
Free cash flow was still an outflow of EUR 205 million,and the group had a net loss of EUR 298 million or EUR 0.11 per share. During the quarter, Alcatel completed its debt refinancing outlined in its Shift Plan, with all maturities until 2017 reimbursed or pre-financed. CEO Michel Combes said this completes the first phase of the company’s restructuring, freeing up the resources to focus on growth and innovation and return to positive free cash flow in 2015.