Sony Ericsson ships 22.3M phones in 1Q

A slowing economy and rising component costs didn't stop handset maker Sony Ericsson from reporting a 2 percent increase in handset shipments. The firm said in first quarter 2008 it shipped 22.3 million handsets, a 2 percent increase year over year. However, the company also reported that pre-tax profits for the quarter were $308.1 million, down from $795.6 million in fourth quarter 2007 and $574.9 million a year ago. Net income for the quarter $211.1 million a decrease of 48 percent from the year ago quarter of $403.27 million. Average selling price decreased to $192 down from $195 in fourth quarter.

The drop in profits wasn't a surprise thanks to the company's revised forecast last month that indicated its profits would only be in the $239.5 million to $319.3 million range.

The company blamed the decrease on higher research and development costs.  President Dick Komiyama said that the company expects to see some positive results from its new products that it announced in the first quarter, including the Xperia X1, a high-end multimedia convergence phone based on Windows Mobile that will launch in the second half of the year. To that end, the company also released two new HSDPA handsets for the European market, the Z780 and the G502, both of which come with Google Maps for Mobile.

For more,
- see this press release about Sony Ericsson's earnings
- And see this release on the new phones

Related stories:
Hands-on with Sony Ericsson's Xperia. Sony Ericsson story
Mobile World Congress: SE's Windows device. See this Sony Ericsson article