Bert Nordberg, President & CEO of Sony Ericsson commented, “2010 was a turnaround year for Sony Ericsson. Our four consecutive quarters of profit reflect the success of our shift towards an Android-based smartphone portfolio. We will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the creation of Sony Ericsson in 2011, and as shown by the recently announced Xperia™ arc, we will continue to focus on delivering the most entertaining smartphones worldwide.”
Income before taxes, excluding restructuring charges, was Euro 189 million for the full year 2010, compared with a loss of Euro 878 million in 2009. The improvement of approximately Euro 1.1 billion was driven by the success of a streamlined product portfolio focused on higher-end smartphones and an improved cost structure. Sales for the full year 2010 were Euro 6,294 million, a decrease of 7% from 2009, while gross margin improved from 15% in 2009 to 29%, in 2010.
During 2010 Sony Ericsson completed its company-wide transformation programme, improving its cost of sales ratio, reducing its global workforce by approximately 4,000 people in total, consolidating its facilities worldwide and decreasing annual operating expenses by more than Euro 880 million. The total restructuring charges for the transformation programme were Euro 381 million.
Units shipped during the fourth quarter were 11.2 million, a year-on-year decrease of 23%, consistent with the streamlining of the portfolio to focus on higher-end smartphones. The sequential increase of 8%, related to seasonal factors, was somewhat constrained by a lack of new product launches during the quarter. Average selling price (ASP) for the quarter was Euro 136, a 13% increase year-on-year. ASP decreased 12% sequentially, mainly due to price erosion, foreign exchange and product mix. Sales for the quarter were Euro 1,528 million, a decrease of 13% year-on-year and a decrease of 5% sequentially.
The gross margin for the fourth quarter was 30%, an increase of 7 percentage points year-on-year and essentially flat sequentially, including the benefit of some one-time items, relating to certain royalty matters and warranty estimates.
Income before taxes for the fourth quarter, excluding restructuring charges, was a profit of Euro 39 million, an increase of Euro 79 million year-on-year and a decrease of Euro 27 million sequentially, mainly due to lower sales.
Sony Ericsson’s net cash position as of December 31, 2010 was Euro 375 million. The negative cash flow from operating activities for the quarter was Euro 128 million, mainly due to increases in inventory due to seasonal factors as well as payments related to the transformation programme.
During the quarter term loan facilities of Euro 150 million matured and were repaid in full.
Sony Ericsson estimates that the global handset market for the full year 2010 increased slightly in volume to almost 1.2 billion units. The company estimates that the global handset market for the fourth quarter was essentially flat year-on-year and its market share for the fourth quarter was approximately 3% in units and approximately 5% in value. Sony Ericsson estimates that its market share for the full year 2010 was approximately 4% in units and approximately 6% in value.
Sony Ericsson forecasts modest growth in units in the global handset market for 2011.
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