Cisco Systems Inc., a bellwether for the information technology industry, is reporting increased sales of networking gear for business operations. The company reported net sales for its fiscal third quarter ended April 27 of $4.8 billion, up two percent over net sales of $4.7 billion in the year-ago quarter. Although the third-quarter revenue figure remained the same as this year’s second quarter, the company said third-quarter profits rose 264 percent over the year-ago period and 26 percent over the second quarter.

“Our strong results led to gross margins of 63.1 percent, cash flows of $1.6 billion and inventory turns of 7.5 times,” CEO John Chambers said.

Cisco says its sales are strong in several areas, including network routers, LAN switching, security, enterprise wireless LANs and virtual private networks. The company notes that its enterprise customers continue to invest in core switching and routing platforms as well as networking technologies including IP telephony, security and mobility.

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