By Sarah Falson
SYDNEY: Sony Ericsson has reported record sales figures worldwide for the year ended 31st December 2006 and especially the fourth quarter of 2006, the latter representing a 60 per cent volume growth from the same period in 2005.
According to a sales report, Sony Ericsson shipped 74.8 million units worldwide throughout 2006, compared with 51.2 million units the year before, with 26 million contributed to the fourth quarter of 2006 alone, compared with 16.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2005.
The company turned over 1,298 million euros ($AU2,136 million), before tax, for the full year, which is 64 per cent more than the 512 million euros ($AU842 million) earned in 2005.
Music-enabled mobile handsets were high revenue-earners, with 60 million units sold overall, 17 million of which were Walkman-branded models.
According to the report, Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot phones, including the K800 and K790 models, experienced “continued success,” even though the company was asking for “higher-than-expected” recommended retail prices due to “more favourable than expected market conditions and continuing strong demand for Sony Ericsson’s hit model handsets.”
The report sites “strong growth in Latin America, Asia Pacific and Europe,” including Australia, though Current.com.au was unable to gain an insight into either units sold or revenue made locally, since the company exercises a policy that states that its employees must not reveal country-centric sales figures.
The “particularly strong growth” in the above-mentioned markets “illustrates Sony Ericssson’s success at expanding the portfolio to increase market share in new markets with attractive mid-tier products, and without undermining profitability,” said the report.
Sony Ericsson Oceainia marketing manager, Josh Oxspring, told Current.com.au today: "In 2007 Sony Ericsson will expand its line-up of handsets to cater to every market segment. We will continue to build on our Cyber-shot and Walkman sub-brands and develop value propositions that appeal to retailers and customers alike.
"To enrich customers’ mobile experience, Sony Ericsson will also continue to create strategic alignments to deliver enriched product packages, pairing Sony Ericsson’s feature rich handsets with content that customers want. "
Sony Ericsson’s European business estimates that the global handset market for all brands in 2006 was around 980 million units, which is higher than previous forecasts of 950 million.
“On this basis the company believes it has outperformed the market during the quarter, gaining around 1% of the market share sequentially, to achieve a global market share of approximately 9% during Q4. In Q4 2006 Sony Ericsson grew market share slightly over 2% against the same period for the previous year,” the report said.