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Strong global demand for its government and public safety communications equipment helped Motorola Solutions report a 7 per cent increase in first-quarter sales which grew to $2bn.
The US electronics group that spun off from Motorola at the start of last year reported net earnings of $232m equivalent to11.9 per cent of sales, compared with $169m, or 9.2 per cent of sales, in the first quarter of 2011. Earnings per share from continuing operations were 50 cents a share, compared with $1.07 in the first quarter of 2011, when the company recorded a $244m gain equivalent to 69 cents a share.
Operating earnings in the first quarter of 2012 of $290m, or 14.8 per cent of sales, compared with $266m, or 14.5 per cent of sales, in the first quarter of 2011.
“Motorola Solutions had a great start to the year by posting record first-quarter sales and operating earnings while also returning approximately $1.4bn to shareholders,” said Greg Brown, chief executive.
The company’s government segment, which won a string of new contracts with government departments in the US and elsewhere, reported sales of $1.3bn, up 11 per cent from the year-ago quarter and operating earnings of $150m compared with $99m in the year-ago quarter.
Enterprise segment sales fell by 2 per cent to $655m from the year-ago quarter, however, reflecting a $31m decline in sales of iDen telecoms equipment. Sprint Nextel is phasing out its iDen network.
Excluding iDen, sales were up, driven by growth in North America and Asia Pacific, and the unit recorded operating earnings of $82m, or 12.5 per cent of sales, compared with $70m, or 10.5 per cent of sales, in the year-ago quarter.
During the first quarter of 2012, the company generated $69m in operating cash flow from continuing operations. Operating cash flows in the quarter took an approximately $200m hit related to the timing of certain annual incentives historically paid in the second quarter and a legal settlement.
During the quarter, the company repurchased $1.4bn in stock, paid $70m in dividends and ended the quarter with total cash of $3.8bn.