SWEDEN – Phone equipment company Ericsson has made a “one-time” payment to Alecta which has cut its pension liability by 3.5 billion crowns (384 million euros).

“A one-time payment was made to a Swedish pension management company, reducing our pension liability by 3.5 billion crowns,” Ericsson said in its fourth-quarter earnings report released today.

A company spokesman disclosed that the pension management company was Alecta, but was unable to provide any further details.

Ericsson booked a pension refund of 1.1 billion crowns from Alecta in 2000, according to its most recent annual report of 2002. That report also disclosed total pension provisions of 10.9 billion crowns, mostly attributable to its Swedish plans.

Anna-Charlotta Andersson, Ericsson’s pension fund manager, was unable to comment immediately.

“We never comment on our customers,” said Alecta spokesman Johan Anderson. Alecta said earlier this week that Tomas Nicolin was joining as chief executive from buffer fund , Tredje AP-fonden.

Ericsson today reported fourth-quarter adjusted pretax profit of 5.5 billion crowns and sales of 36.2 billion crowns. It has undertaking massive cost-cutting to return to profit, with staff levels falling from 105,000 three years ago to 51,583.

“Although the major restructuring is over, with minor adjustments remaining to be completed, by the third quarter 2004, our relentless work to increase efficiency and cost
awareness will continue,” said president and chief executive Carl-Henric Svanberg.