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Sagem upbeat over mobile sales

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The CEO of France's second largest telco group Sagem, Gregoire Olivier, has overturned current misery in the mobile industry by saying he expects a surge in phone sales to put the company at break-even over the year.

In direct contrast to how all his rivals see the market, Mr Olivier - who took over as CEO in April after his predecessor died - told French newspaper Les Echos he was expecting "a very good fourth quarter".

The company has sold mortwo million handsets in this quarter, compared to just 3.7 million over the rest of the year. Mr Olivier claimed the company's manufacturing plant was working at full capacity and he has had to hire an extra 400 staff.

Sagem expects to break even this year - aided by a £329 million sell-off of its car business - but made a £94.4 million profit last year. While not exactly a success, it is a thousand miles away from most other handset makers which have embarked on huge job-cutting and cost-saving sprees and posted poor results. ®

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