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Sony Ericsson rings in record Q1 shipments

8.8m handsets

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Sony Ericsson enthusiastically announced its Q1 2004 results today, headlining the report with a 66 per cent year-on-year jump in sales and 63 per cent annual growth in handset shipments.

Revenue for the quarter, which ended on 31 March, totalled €1.34bn ($1.61bn) up that 66 per cent from Q1 2003's €806m ($968.65m), but down from last quarter's €1.44bn ($1.73bn).

Unit shipments reached 8.8m handsets, not only 63 per cent up on Q1 2003, but up on Q4 2003's 8.0m. Declining sequential sales despite that unit shipment growth suggests consumers shifted toward lower priced handsets during the first three months of 2004.

Income before tax totalled €97m ($116.56m). Net income was €82m ($98.55m). Both were up on the losses Sony Ericsson reported for Q1 2003 (€113m and €104m, respectively), and market the company's third consecutive profitable quarter. The company attributed the turnaround to "favourable market conditions" and the positive impact of the restructuring the company engaged in last year.

Said market conditions - "an overall strong mobile phone market" is how Sony Ericsson described it - led to record shipments, yielding not only an unspecified increase in market share but a raised forecast for the number of handsets the company expects will be shipped by all vendors this year. Previously it had predicted 2004 shipments of 520m units - now it reckons the total will rise to more than 550m phones worldwide.

That's still less than market watcher Gartner's forecast, which is currently standing at 580m units. ®

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