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TELECOM

Sony Ericsson profits collapse

Swedish-Japanese mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson reported on Friday that second quarter net profits had plunged to €8 million ($12.64mn). This represents a significant drop on the €327 million reported in the second quarter of 2007.

Sony Ericsson profits collapse

The collapse in profits was expected by analysts however as Sony Ericsson had issued a profits warning to that effect in June.

Total sales amounted to €2,820 million in comparison with €3,112 million in the second quarter of 2007.

The firm announced a savings program to address plunging profitability and to cut annual costs by €300 million.

“We are aligning our operations and resources worldwide to meet an increasingly competitive business environment and to help restore our capability for profitable growth. The measures we are taking are aimed at becoming a faster, more agile and more cost efficient organisation,” Dick Komiya, Sony Ericsson President said in a company press release.

The company sold 24.4 million telephones during the quarter, in comparison with 24.9 million in the corresponding period of 2007. The average retail price dipped from €125 to €116.

Sony Ericsson forecast that the worldwide mobile phone market would grow by around 10 percent during during 2008 in unit sales terms. 1.1 billion telephones were sold worldwide in 2007.

Sony Ericsson reported a market share of around 8 percent.

MUSIC

Lenny Kravitz lets it rip on stage in Sweden

US artist Lenny Kravitz made headlines when he rocked his pants off at a rip-roaring gig in Stockholm last night – literally.

Kravitz performed to an audience of thousands of cheering fans at Stockholm's biggest theme park – Gröna Lund – on Monday night.

And the rock legend, who is not known for pulling any punches on stage, went all in to offer his Swedish audience the whole package. Yes, the whole package.

For as Kravitz crouched down in a laws-of-physics-defying way right at the start of the energetic performance, he managed to split his leather outfit at crotch level – leaving the artist with a gaping hole in his trousers.

And if there was one thing we did not know about the 51-year-old artist before that we know now – it is that he does not wear underwear. Let's just say the audience went nuts.

The Local is unable to publish picture proof of the revealing incident, but curious readers may click on the tweet below. Warning: contains nudity. Do not click if you are at work.

After leaving the stage for several minutes, the rocker reappeared in a new pair of trousers. And that's how you crack into the history books, folks.

“The producer stepped up and said that they had 'some problems on stage'. A bit later Kravitz came out wearing other trousers. He said 'sorry, I ripped my trousers',” a member of the audience, named only as Sara, told the Expressen tabloid after the show.

“It was insane, I killed myself laughing. And then I called my mum who was there at the show as well. Her reaction was the same and she almost killed herself laughing too,” she added.

Behind hits such as 'It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over', 'American Woman' and aptly titled 'Fly Away', Kravitz has sold almost 40 million albums worldwide and holds the record of most Grammy Awards in the category Best Male Rock Vocal Performance.

He commented on the incident in Stockholm late on Tuesday by tweeting a screen shot of a text message from fellow rock star Steven Tyler, of Aerosmith fame:

It is not the first time a world artist has a mishap on stage in Sweden this summer. But while Kravitz suffered only an awkward wardrobe malfunction, rocker Dave Grohl broke his leg in concert in Gothenburg in June.

The 46-year-old Foo Fighters frontman made headlines around Europe when he spectacularly returned after being briefly rushed to hospital to complete the show in a cast.