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An order for 40,000 mobile telephones, 32,000 of them in-car units and the rest portables, for its Ericsson GE Mobile Communications Corp from McCaw Cellular Communications Inc which also ordered 20,000 phones from Hughes Network Systems Inc – can’t disguise the fact that times are hard at L M Ericsson Telefon AB: the Stockholm company, which saw profits in 1991 plunge 67% to $266m, says that profits will be weak this year because phone companies are deferring orders so that strength in cellular equipment is being offset by weakness in fixed terrestrial systems.

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