SE handset shipments down 45pc


Sony Ericsson’s Q3 results show further staggering decline in handset shipments and revenues.

The manufacturer shipped 14.1 million units in the quarter were, a slide of 45 per cent from the same period last year and two per cent down from last quarter.

Sales were down 42 per cent year on year to €1.619 billion (£1.48 billion), but down four per cent from last quarter. The average selling price (ASP) of handsets is down to €114, down from €122 last quarter but up from €109 in the same period last year.

The company said the average selling price of handsets was down because of product mix and continued challenging market conditions.

A company statement said the gross margin improved sequentially but dropped year-on-year due to lower sales and foreign exchange fluctuations.  It said the sequential improvement was seen in both percentage rate and volume, driven by cost savings actions and successful sales of the W995 Walkman phone.

Sony Ericsson outgoing president Dick Komiyama said: “Our business in the third quarter started to show the effects of our ongoing transformation programme. Having refreshed our brand we are now better positioned to support the launch of new products such as Aino and Satio in Q4 2009. We have cleared channel inventories, and have continued to realign internal resources and improve efficiency.  We have also arranged external financing to strengthen the company’s financial position.

“Transforming the business for future growth and returning Sony Ericsson to profitability is the focus of the senior management team and will continue under the new leadership.”

Initiatives begun mid-last year to reduce annual operating expenses by €880 million are continuing. The company said the full benefit is expected to be realised during the second half of 2010.

As of October 15, Sir Howard Stringer, chairman, chief executive and president of Sony Corporation and a member of the Sony Ericsson board, became chairman of the Sony Ericsson board, succeeding Carl-Henric Svanberg.  At the same time, Bert Nordberg became president of Sony Ericsson succeeding Dick Komiyama, who remains as executive advisor until the end of 2009.

The company has also forecasted that the global handset market for 2009 will contract by around 10 per cent from around 1.19 billion units in 2008. Sony Ericsson estimates that its global market share in units was about five per cent in Q3.