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Article updated: 1/24/2013 7:45 AM

Motorola Solutions optimistic despite profit drop

By Anna Marie Kukec

Schaumburg-based Motorola Solutions Inc. on Wednesday showed a drop in profit for 2012, but it presented an optimistic outlook and the possibility of hiring more workers this year.

The company, which makes scanners for retailers and emergency devices for first responders, is in the midst of moving about 100 workers in its North American sales division into downtown Chicago. Yet, it remains committed to Schaumburg as its global headquarters, said CEO Greg Brown.

"Generally, we see no major changes in our workforce, and in fact, we're looking to add some talent," Brown said during an interview. He didn't specify how many would be hired.

Solutions also has been targeting more acquisitions for its public safety and rugged mobile computing areas, Brown said.

"We continue to be selective," he said.

Brown's comments came after the company reported its fourth-quarter and full year 2012 earnings. Fourth-quarter sales were $2.4 billion, up 6 percent from the same period in 2011, Fourth-quarter net earnings were $336 million, compared to $184 million in the same period a year ago, the company reported.

Full-year sales were $8.7 billion, up 6 percent from 2011. However, the full year of net earnings were $881 million, compared to $1.16 billion in 2011. The company said that the majority of this change reflects the sale of its networks business in April 2011.

For the full year, government division sales were up 12 percent and enterprise division sales dropped 5 percent. These results include revenue for Psion, a maker of mobile personal digital assistants that was acquired last October, the company reported.

Also, Brown said two buildings on the Schaumburg campus have been up for sale or lease since February 2011.

"We have no urgent needs to change anything right now," Brown said. "So they remain as they are."

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