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Motorola Cellphone Segment Sales Rise

Schaumburg, Ill. — Strong sales of handsets, which account for more than half the revenue at Motorola, helped boost overall company sales 10 percent in the first quarter. Consolidated sales reached $8.2 billion, up from $7.4 billion in the prior-year’s first three months.

Motorola’s mobile device segment, primarily cellphones and its largest business unit, recorded a 6 percent increase in sales in the first quarter, hitting $4.4 billion, up from a year-earlier $4.2 billion. Operating earnings for the company’s cellphone segment were $440 million in the first three months, compared with $406 million year-on-year.

The cellphone business delivered record first-quarter unit shipments, with 28.7 handsets moving out in the three months, a rise of 13 percent, compared with the same period in 2004.

First-quarter consolidated operating earnings climbed 14 percent to $865 million, compared with $685 million in the year-ago period, while net income increased to $692 million in the period ending April 2, up from $609 million in the same quarter last year. The company reported a $234 million gain in the first quarter from sale of stock in Nextel Communications.

Motorola also announced double-digit sales gains in two other business segments during the first three months — namely networks and connected home solutions. Networks jumped 15 percent to $1.7 billion from a year-ago $1.4 billion, and connected home solutions climbed 45 percent to $662 million, from $456 million the previous year.