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Sony Ericsson Q1 Sales Jump 55%

Stockholm, Sweden — Sales in the first quarter soared 55 percent at mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson as growth in the global handset market continued to outpace earlier expectations, said the company.

Sales for the three months reached $2.4 billion, up from a year-ago $1.6 billion.

Net income more than tripled for the period ending March 31, coming in at $132.3 million, compared with $38.8 million in the same quarter in 2005.

Sony Ericsson said it benefited from a broadening portfolio of phones by adding to its Walkman range of music handsets and introducing a cheaper clamshell phone.

Units shipped in the first quarter hit 13.3 million, up 41 percent from the 9.4 million shipped year-on-year. This figure was higher than general market growth, but down 17 percent from the 16.1 million shipped in the last quarter of 2005.

Sony Ericsson has increased its forecast for the global handset market, and now expects over 900 million units to be shipped in 2006. It previous guidance was 10 percent growth vs. the estimated 2005 market volume of about 780 million units.

Average selling price for a phone reached $181, a 4 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 2005, due to a greater proportion of higher-end products entering the product mix, said the company.