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Record demand pushes Sony Ericsson into profit

Sony Ericsson has posted a profit for the third consecutive quarter, due boosted by record demand for its mobile phones and...

Sony Ericsson has posted a profit for the third consecutive quarter, due boosted by record demand for its mobile phones and restructuring efforts.

The handset maker reported a third-quarter net profit of €82m (£55m) on sales of €1.3bn (£865m). In the first three months of 2003, the company made a net loss of €104m on sales of €806m.

Sony Ericsson shipped 8.8 million handsets, up 63% on the same quarter a year ago. This figure is an all-time high for the joint venture.

The company revised its estimate for the size of the global mobile phone market for 2004 to more than 550 million units, up from its previous estimate of 520 million units.

Last week two of Sony Ericsson's largest rivals, Nokia and Samsung, announced their results for the first three months of this year. Nokia reported a 16% year-on-year decline in first-quarter net profit, to €816m, on sales of €6.6bn, which were down 2% from the same period a year earlier.

In contrast, Samsung said strong sales of high-end handsets helped it achieve a 52% year-on-year jump in unit shipments for the quarter, to 20.1 million.

Samsung also raised its total market size prediction for 2004. The company had predicted the worldwide market for mobile phones would be 510 million units, but now expected a total of 560 million handsets to be shipped this year.

Martyn Williams writes for IDG News Service

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