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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 April 2006, 09:32 GMT 10:32 UK
Sony Ericsson sees profits jump
Sony Ericsson phone
Consumers are looking to buy phones with cameras and music players
Mobile phone company Sony Ericsson has reported a doubling of quarterly profit and outlined an optimistic view of the global market for handsets in 2006.

Pre-tax profit was 151m euros (104m; $184m) for the January to March period, up from 70m euros a year ago. Analysts had expected a figure closer to 130m.

Sales were 1.99bn euros from 1.29bn a year earlier, driven by Walkman phones, as well as top- and bottom-end models.

The company also managed to sell its phones at a higher average price.

'Strong growth'

"Growth in the global handset market continued to outpace earlier expectations," the company said, adding that it now expected global sales to top 900 million units this year, compared with 780 million in 2005.

The firm, owned by Sweden's Ericsson and Japan's Sony, said that it shipped a total of 13.3 million handsets in the quarter, up 41% from the same period a year earlier.

While it was an improvement in terms of annual growth, handset sales were down 17% from the previous quarter.

The average selling price, meanwhile, gained 9.3% to 149.8 euros from a year earlier and was 4.8% higher than in the fourth quarter.

"We are seeing very strong growth everywhere," said Miles Flint, Sony Ericsson's chief executive.

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