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Massive losses mark Sony Ericsson's final quarter

With Sony poised to buy out its partnership with Ericsson, the mobile device maker writes its final chapter in bold red ink.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play
Sony Ericsson lost a ton of money in 2011, but its Xperia line of smartphones saw a 65 percent year-on-year increase in sales.
Josh P. Miller/CNET

Sony Ericsson's last financial results before the joint venture ends have shown massive losses, largely due to plummeting feature-phone sales.

The London-based mobile device maker's results for the fourth quarter of 2011 and the full year, released today, revealed a 20 percent year-on-year drop in overall shipments. Added to component shortages due to the Thai floods, and significant restructuring costs ahead of Sony's buyout of the partnership with Ericsson, this led to net losses of 247 million euros ($316 million) for the year of 2011 and 207 million euros ($265 million) for the final quarter.

The losses are reminiscent of those Sony Ericsson was making three years ago when it was on the brink of extinction, before Android helped it back to profitability. In 2010, the company made profits of 90 million euros, but that reflected sales revenue of 6.3 billion euoros -- in 2011, that revenue was down to 5.2 billion euros.

Read more of "Sony Ericsson hit by 173m-euro loss in final quarter" at ZDNet UK.