Sony Ericsson releases results for Q4

Sony Ericsson has released its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2010, where it shipped less phones for a lower price resulting in, yes, lower sales.

Only 11.2 million phone units were shipped in the fourth quarter, down 23 percent on the same period last year which saw shipments of 14.6 million units. This was an increase of eight percent on the third quarter of 2010, however, when shipments were at 10.4 million units – but the Christmas shopping season was the main reason. Overall shipments for 2010 were at 43.1 million, down form 2009’s 57.1 million.

Sales were down 13 percent from €1.75 billion ($2.35 billion) to €1.53 billion ($2.05 billion). This was also a five percent decrease on the third quarter, when the company reported sales of €1.6 billion ($2.15 billion).

Average selling prices were up by from €120 ($161) in 2009 to €136 ($183), an increase of 13 percent. This was a 12 percent drop on the third quarter of 2010 when average selling prices were €154 ($207).

Profits were up on 2009 thanks to restructuring of the company. It earned €39 million ($52.4 million) in the fourth quarter, not counting restructuring costs, compared to losses of €40 million ($53.7 million) in the same quarter of 2009, an increase of €79 million ($106 million). Profits were €27 ($36.3 million) million lower than the third quarter of 2010 due to lower sales.

The company is doing much better than 2009 thanks to its restructuring effort, which was completed in 2010 with a cost of €381 million ($512 million). This transformation of the company ultimately saved it €880 million ($1.2 billion), with staff reductions of 4,000. It also paid back €150 million ($201.6 million) in loans that matured during the fourth quarter.

The company forecasts “modest” growth in handset shipments in 2011.