Sony Ericsson profits leap

Mobile phone giant Sony Ericsson reported on Thursday a strong increase in profits in the second quarter as the company sold 33 percent more phones than in the same period a year earlier.

Net profit rose to €143 million in the second three months of the year, compared with €109 million in the same quarter a year earlier.

Pre-tax profit at €211 million, compared with €151 million a year earlier, outstripped market expectations which had centred on €159 million.

Sales increased to €15.7 billion from €11.8 billion.

“The second quarter has seen Sony Ericsson both announce and start to ship a wide variety of products confirming the company’s ability to compete, capture market share and profitability to grow the business,” the company’s president, Miles Flint, said in a statement.

The company said it now expected about 950 million handset units to be sold worldwide in 2006, compared with an earlier estimate of around 900 million.

Sony Ericsson launched new high-end phones carrying the Walkman brand, as well a Cybershot-branded camera phone, in the second quarter but most of its units sold were low-price models, the company acknowledged.

This caused the average selling price (ASP) per unit to decline slightly from the previous quarter, it said.

Sony Ericsson is a joint venture between Ericsson of Sweden and Sony of Japan. The company, while headquartered in London, remains a major employer in Sweden.