Ericsson, the communications equipment manufacturer, has been forced to cut 5,000 jobs in the continuing financial crisis. Six per cent of its workforce will be laid off in the coming months.

Despite posting strong financial results in many sectors, the company's net profit has dipped by 3.9 billion kroner (£338m).

The company also reported a "dramatic drop" in the money received from Sony Ericsson, which 'helped' things out with a loss of £174 million in the fourth quarter of last year.

The job cuts were justified by the need to increase cost savings throughout the company, due in part to the global financial crisis and increasing competition in the technical development sector.

We're saved!

However, Ericsson, like so many others at the moment, has predicted that it will save around £900m annually by the middle of next year, so things may not be as gloomy as they currently seem.

"Sales grew by 11 per cent with good demand for our entire portfolio and across the world. Changes in currency rates had very small effect on full year growth. Professional services have continued to show strong growth," said Carl-Henric Svanberg, President and CEO of Ericsson.

"Operating margins, excluding Sony Ericsson, have steadily improved, and our financial position is strong with net cash of 35 billion kroner. Sony Ericsson is affected by the economic downturn and the declining demand in the consumer market and has taken necessary actions."

Come on Sony Ericsson, don't lag behind so much... after all, you've got a long way to go after LG leapfrogged you into third place in the rankings.