Ericsson sees 10 pct China sales growth in 07, 08

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MACAU, Nov 13 (Reuters) Ericsson, the world's biggest maker of mobile networks equipment, expects its China sales growth to exceed 10 percent per year in 2007 and 2008 amid robust demand in the world's fastest-growing major economy.

In the first nine months of 2007, China was the company's single largest market, accounting for 7 percent of its global sales, Ericsson's Greater China President Mats Olsson said.

''We see significant demand in China as subscriber growth is at an all-time high. The demand is definitely there,'' he told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the Mosvanberg Asia Congress in the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau.

Ericsson forecasts its market share in China's mobile network equipment sales to stay at 35-plus percent in 2008 and its profit margin in the market this year and next to be equal to or better than in 2006, Olsson said.

He declined to disclose the company's China profit margin in 2006.

The Stockholm-based firm dismayed investors last month with unexpectedly weak profits, sending its shares at one point down 30 percent, the biggest intraday fall in its history.

The company blamed its woes on an unfavourable business mix and a shortfall of sales in mobile network upgrades.

REUTERS MP DS1124

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