Sony Ericsson exceeds expectations

Mobile phone giant Sony Ericsson said on Monday it had outpaced a fast-growing global mobile handset market to post profits for the third quarter well in excess of analysts' expectations.

Net profit rose to €104 million for the three months to September 30, up from €90 million in the same period of the previous year.

Pretax profit increased to €151 million from 136 million as the average selling price for mobile phones rose, compared with market expectation of €104 million.

Sales leaped to €2.05 billion from 1.67 billion on the back of 13.8 million units shipped, which compares with 10.7 million units in the third quarter of 2004.

The global handset market grew faster than expected, and Sony Ericsson raised its global market outlook for 2005 to over 760 million units from 720 million previously.

“The company grew faster than the market during the quarter with the popularity of higher-end phones having a positive effect and raising the profile of more affordable, volume models,” Sony Ericsson said.

The company’s strategy is to expand the product portfolio upward into best-in-class imaging, music and 3G products while increasing the number of cheaper models which the company sells in large volumes, company president Miles Flint said.

Sony Ericsson said it was beginning to reap the rewards of increasing spending on marketing, research and development to expand its model portfolio.

Sony Ericsson was established as a joint venture by Ericsson and Sony in 2001 and employs 5,000 people at sites in Europe, Japan, China and the US. Around half of these are based in Lund, southern Sweden, which is the centre of the company’s product development operations.