Updated from 2:29 a.m. EDTTelecommunications equipment maker Ericsson ( ERIC) said first-quarter profit fell 35% to 1.72 billion kronor ($216 million) from 2.64 billion kronor a year earlier as demand for handsets from joint ventures Sony Ericsson and ST-Ericsson declined. Sales in the quarter rose 12% to 49.6 billion kronor. In a statement Thursday, Ericsson said the effects of the global economic recession on the mobile network market are so far limited. "We have seen operators, in a few markets where local currencies have depreciated dramatically, postpone investments," Ericsson said. "Some operators are also more cautious with longer-term investments in fixed networks, such as rollout of fiber networks. Most operators, however, have healthy financial positions, there is a strong traffic growth and the networks are fairly loaded." The company said it remains "difficult to more precisely predict how operators will act in the current environment." Sony Ericsson, a joint venture of Ericsson and Japan's Sony ( SNE), earlier this month reported a loss of 293 million euros for the first quarter as sales fell.