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Walkman brand drives Sony Ericsson to record quarter

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Sony Ericsson's Walkman-branded handsets and its focus on high-end camera phones pushed the company into a record quarter during the final three months of its 2005 fiscal year, the phone-maker said today.

For the three months to 31 December 2005, Sony Ericsson reported pre-tax profits of €206m ($249m) - up 36.4 per cent on Q3 FY2005's figure and 47.1 per cent higher than in the same period for 2004 - on sales up 15.2 per cent year-on-year to €2.31bn ($2.8bn).

Net income for the period was €144m ($174m), up 38.5 per cent sequentially and 161.8 per cent year-on-year.

For the full fiscal year, Sony Ericsson saw sales of €7.27bn ($8.80bn), up 11.4 per cent on FY2004's total, €6.53bn ($7.90bn). Net income for the year came to €356m ($431m), up 12.7 per cent on the previous year's €316m ($382m).

The company shipped 16.1m handsets during the quarter - three million of them Walkman-branded phones - up from 13.8m in the previous quarter and 12.6m in Q4 FY2004.

Sony Ericsson said its operating profit margin was approximately nine per cent during the quarter. The average selling price of its handsets was €143.5 ($174), down from €149 ($180) in the previous quarter.

However, rising shipments - the company said it expects world phone sales to rise 10 per cent in 2006 to 858m units - will allow it to maintain its profit margins, company president, Miles Flint, said today.

He told reporters the company will focus on camera phones and further Walkman models, including more 3G models. ®

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