Sony Ericsson Shows Profit On Cost Cuts, Better Margins

Mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson saw a slight boost in net income for the three months ended March 31 after it kept cutting costs and put some new, higher-margin products on the market.

In the first quarter, Sony Ericsson reported profit of euro21 million ($29 million), compared to a loss of euro293 million during the same period a year earlier. Sales, however, were down somewhat, from euro1.74 billion to euro1.41 billion. The company also shipped fewer phones but better margins on devices including the Xperia X10 and Vivaz smartphones helped revenue.

Sony Ericsson continues to restructure, two years’ worth of efforts that will include more layoffs. The company now employs 8,450 people after shedding 3,150 jobs by the end of March. It also now ranks as the fourth-largest handset maker in the world. Research firm Strategy Analytics says Nokia Corp. remains No. 1, followed by Samsung Electronics Co., LG Electronics Inc. and, of course, Sony Ericsson.

Sony Ericsson CEO Bert Nordberg told the Wall Street Journal he expects to sustain the company’s turnaround and break even through 2010.

Meanwhile, the joint venture also said on Friday it has hired William Glaser, Jr as its new CFO, replacing Ulf Lilja who plans to move over to Ericsson.

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