A woman holds a smartphone in front of a screen displaying both Nokia and Alcatel Lucent logos in this photo illustration in Paris, April 14, 2015.  REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

A woman holds a smartphone in front of a screen displaying both Nokia and Alcatel Lucent logos in this photo illustration in Paris, April 14, 2015. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent post strong results as merger approaches

Facing intense competition in sector, and soft demand from telecom operators

Leila Abboud and Jussi Rosendahl

PARIS/HELSINKI (Reuters) – Shares in telecom network gear makers Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent jumped on Thursday after both posted strong second-quarter results, giving a positive signal ahead of their pending merger.

Nokia’s 15.6 billion euro ($17 billion) acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent announced in mid-April aims to position the company to better compete with market leader Ericsson and low-cost Chinese powerhouse Huawei, by forging a strong number two in mobile with a more complete product line.

But with competition in the sector remaining intense and demand from telecom operators soft, some investors still have concerns about the marriage.

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