Sony Ericsson warns on first quarter sales

Japanese-Swedish joint venture Sony Ericsson warned Friday that its first quarter results would be hard hit by consumer belt tightening and de-stocking in the retail channels.

The handset manufacturer said that it expects to shift approximately 14 million phones during the first quarter of 2009, with an estimated ASP (average selling price) of Eur120.

Net loss before taxes is estimated to be in the range of Eur340m to Eur390m, excluding restructuring charges in the range of Eur10m to Eur20m.

Rumours of a break up also abound this week, with Sony reported to be looking down the back of the sofa for enough cash to buy out Ericsson’s 50 per cent share in the joint venture. Some speculators believe that the adoption of the ‘Sony’ brand alone would pave the way for the introduction of the much talked about PSP phone.

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