Sony Ericsson Profits Jump to $174m in Q4 (ERICY, SNE)

Includes: ERIC, SNE

AP (from Stockholm, Sweden) reports Sony Ericsson almost tripled its Q4 earnings over the same period in 2004, citing strong sales of Walkman phones as the firm's biggest boost. Below is the full-text of the earnings news release:

The world's No. 5 handset maker said net profit rose to 144 million euros ($174 million) in the three months ending Dec. 31, up from 55 million euros in the same period in 2004.

Quarterly sales grew 15 percent to 2.31 billion euros ($2.8 billion), from 2.01 billion euros a year earlier.

The company, a joint venture of Japan's Sony Corp. (SNE) and Sweden's LM Ericsson (ERICY), said it shipped 16.1 million handsets in the fourth quarter, up 28 percent from the previous year.

"This was another solid quarter for Sony Ericsson, and has enabled us to finish the year with great momentum," Sony Ericsson President Miles Flint said.

Full-year profits rose to 356 million euros ($430 million), from 316 million euros a year earlier, while sales were 7.27 billion euros ($8.8 billion), compared with 6.53 billion euros in 2004.

The launch of Walkman phones has helped Sony Ericsson tap the rising popularity of music-enabled devices, and the company also moved to gain a greater share of fast-growing markets by introducing cheaper handsets in emerging markets.

Sony Ericsson said it has sold 3 million Walkman branded phones since the launch in August 2005.

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