Strong demand sees Sony ring up healthy profits

Sony Ericsson said today that first quarter pretax profit was €97m, compared with a loss of €113m in the same period a year earlier.

Sony Ericsson said today that first quarter pretax profit was €97m, compared with a loss of €113m in the same period a year earlier.

The result was more than double the €37.6m expected by analysts. Sony Ericsson's first quarter sales rose by 66% to €1.338bn.

The number of handsets shipped in the first quarter surged 63% to 8.8 million units from 5.4 million the year before, and the company said it believes that it has gained market share over the period.

The mobile handset maker also promoted its outlook for the global handset in 2004 to 550 million units from 520 million.

Sony's glowing results come as competitor Nokia reports falling sales.

The leader in mobile handset market, Nokia said on Friday that first quarter sales had fallen by 2% to €6.62bn and net profit was down 16% to €816m.

The technology giant also warned on Friday that second-quarter earnings would fall and sales could also drop as it continues to struggle with tough competition.

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