June 17, 2008 / 10:51 AM / 11 years ago

Sony Ericsson sees strong handset demand

A visitor takes a picture in front of Sony-Ericsson's stand at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona February 15, 2007. REUTERS/Albert Gea

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Japanese-Swedish handset maker Sony Ericsson said on Tuesday it projected strong demand for the global handset industry in the second quarter and the second half of this year.

“We had a slightly slower start to the year due to some economic downturn in Western Europe and due to overstocking in channels in Q4, which meant inventories were higher going into 2008. That was a short-term issue,” Sony Ericsson’s head of global marketing James Marshall told Reuters in an interview.

He said the firm was keeping its 10 percent growth forecast for the global handset market this year.

“Projections for this quarter and the second-half of 2008 looks strong — that’s why we can keep the 10 percent growth projections,” he said.

In April, Sony Ericsson posted a 47 percent dive in first-quarter profits, slipping to fifth place in global market share as demand slowed for its more expensive camera and music handsets.

The results were broadly in line with the company’s forecast when it warned on profits last month, spelling an end to a long string of bumper quarterly results and market share gains.

Coupled with component shortages, first-quarter pretax profit fell to 193 million euros ($306 million) from 362 million euros a year ago.

Reporting by Jennifer Tan, editing by Neil Chatterjee

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