Ina Fried

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Sony Ericsson Reports Brutal Fourth Quarter as It Prepares for Life as Sony Unit

Sony Ericsson, which is in the process of being wholly acquired by its Japanese co-owner, reported a particularly bad quarter on Thursday.

The cellphone maker reported a huge quarterly loss, and a drop in the number of phones sold from a year earlier — nine million units, down from 11.2 million shipments in the prior year’s fourth quarter.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, the company lost 207 million euros on revenue of 1.29 billion euros. That compares to a profit of eight million euros on sales of 1.53 million euros in the year-ago quarter. The just-reported quarter’s results included 93 million euros in restructuring charges.

“Our fourth quarter results reflected intense competition, unfavorable macroeconomic conditions and the effects of a natural disaster in Thailand this quarter,” CEO Bert Nordberg said in a statement. “We are aligning our business to drive profitability and to meet customer needs. In spite of these challenges, throughout 2011 we’ve shifted our business from feature phones to smartphones, and our Android-based smartphone sales in the quarter increased by 65% year-on-year.”

The division will soon be Sony’s to deal with, as the cellphone maker expects to complete its transition to full ownership this month or next, with Sony paying Ericsson 1.05 billion euros.

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