Sony Ericsson More than Doubles First-Quarter Profit

Mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson said Friday that first-quarter earnings more than doubled on strong sales of its Walkman music handsets.

Net profit was 254 million euros ($346 million) in the first three months of the year, up from 109 million euros in the same period last year.

Sales rose 47% to 2.93 billion euros ($3.99 billion), from 1.99 billion euros in the first quarter of 2006.

London-based Sony Ericsson, a joint venture of Japan's Sony and Sweden's LM Ericsson, said strong sales growth in Asia, Latin America and Europe helped its market share grow 2 percentage points to 8%.

"The company captured market share in these markets through low and mid-tier products such as the W300 and W200 Walkman phones and the K310 camera phone without undermining profitability," Sony Ericsson said.

However, the closely watched average selling price of Sony Ericsson's handsets dropped to 134 euros ($182), from 149 euros in the first quarter of last year.

The company predicted the global mobile phone market would grow to about 1.1 billion handsets, in line with a forecast by market leader Nokia on Thursday.