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Sony Ericsson reports sale plunge

STOCKHOLM, Oct 16 – Delays in competing in the smartphone market hit third-quarter results at mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson which reported on Friday a sharply wider net loss and a 42-percent sales plunge.

The joint Japanese-Swedish enterprise formed in 2001 said that net earnings came to 164 million euros (244 million dollars) in the July-September period after a shortfall of 25 million euros in third quarter 2008.

Third quarter sales fell 42 percent to 1.62 billion euros from 2.80 billion a year earlier. Compared with the second quarter sales were down 4.0 percent.

From July to September the company sold 14.1 million mobile phone units, a 45 percent fall from the 25.7 million sold in the year-earlier period.

But the company pointed to a 2.0 percent gain in sales from the second quarter. The average third quarter sales price was 114 euros against 122 euros in the second quarter.

Sony Ericsson estimated its third-quarter market share at 5.0 percent, unchanged from the second, and forecast a 10-percent contraction in the global mobile phone market this year.

The company has suffered from delays in its operations on the smartphone market, currently dominated by Apple\’s iPhone and the Blackberry by Research in Motion.

But outgoing head Dick Komiyama said: "Having refreshed our brand we are now better positioned to support the launch of new products … in fourth quarter 2009."

Komiyama was replaced on Thursday by Bert Nordberg.

Sony Ericsson is not quoted on the stock exchange and its accounts remain integrated with those of Sony and Ericsson.

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In early trade on the Stockholm exchange Ericsson was showing a gain of 1.5 percent to 72.30 kronor on an overall market that was 0.8 percent stronger.

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