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Warning call from maker of mobiles

MOBILE phone maker Sony Ericsson warned yesterday that it expected to post a first-quarter pretax loss as it continues to be adversely affected by falling consumer demand because of the global financial crisis.

In a brief statement, the Sony Corp and LM Ericsson AB joint venture also said it was taking a hit from de-stocking among its distributors and retailers.

It predicted a first-quarter loss of 340 million euros (US$465 million) to 390 million euros.

Sales are forecast to be weak in the three-month period, it said, and gross margin is expected to fall both year-on-year and compared with the fourth quarter.

The company plans to ship around 14 million handsets in the period, at an average selling price of about 120 euros each, it said.

Sony Ericsson is due to release its first-quarter results on April 17.


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