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Sony Ericsson breaks even amidst Sony takeover rumors

The company didn't manage to turn a profit despite selling more smartphones

Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications barely broke even during the third quarter, and reported a small year-on-year drop in revenue as an increase in the average selling price of its phones was offset by a 9 percent fall in volume.

Revenue for the third quarter was about €1.59 billion (US$2.19 billion), compared to €1.6 billion a year earlier. Profitability declined too, with the company breaking even this year after making a €49 million profit in the third quarter last year.

Sony Ericsson shipped 9.5 million phones during the third quarter, a 9 percent decrease compared to the same period last year due to a decline in feature phone shipments. The drop was in part offset by an increase in smartphone shipments, the company said.

That change in product mix towards higher-end models drove the average selling price of Sony-Ericsson phones in the quarter up to €166, from €154 a year earlier.

Sony Ericsson plans to drop feature phones from its portfolio entirely during 2012: Currently, 80 percent of its revenue is from smartphones. The company has shipped 22 million Xperia smartphones to date. It estimates that its share of the Android-based smartphone market was approximately 12 percent in volume and 11 percent in value during the third quarter.

During a conference call to discuss the results, the company declined to comment on rumors that parent company Sony may buy out its partner in the joint venture, Ericsson.

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