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Shares in Japan’s Sony rose nearly 2 per cent on Thursday after its mobile phone joint venture Sony Ericsson reported far better than forecast third-quarter results.

Sony shares, which have been under pressure for weeks after a series of recalls of its batteries used in laptop computers, closed up 1.8 per cent to Y4,590 on Thursday after rising nearly 3 per cent earlier in the day.

Sony Ericsson said Wednesday that its latest range of mobile phones with integrated cameras and music players helped the company report a forecast-beating net profit of €298m in the three months to September, up 187 per cent from €104m a year ago.

The company, a joint venture between Japan’s Sony and Sweden’s Ericsson, said pre-tax income grew by the same rate to €433m while sales increased 42 per cent to €2.9bn.

The London-based group, which this year became the world’s fourth largest mobile phone maker, has been gaining share in the competitive handset market thanks to the launch of several high-end music and camera phones.

Total shipments in the third quarter rose 43 per cent to 19.8m handsets, against analysts’ forecast of 16m to 17m. As a result, Sony Ericsson’s global market share rose by 1 percentage point to 8 per cent.

Miles Flint, Sony Ericsson’s president, said the company’s new Walkman- and Cybershot-branded phones, which feature the Sony music players and cameras, have created a “halo-effect” over lower-end models in the same category and encouraged consumers to switch to their products.

“The third quarter saw Sony Ericsson reap the success of hit products,” Mr Flint said.

The five-year-old venture recently said it aimed to become one of the industry’s top three players in the next five years.

Ericsson’s shares in Stockholm rose 4.6 per cent to SKr27.4 following the release of the results, which were originally scheduled for release Thursday.

Sony Ericsson said it was forced to bring the announcement forward after an official at its corporate communications department mistakenly sent an email containing the results to a Dow Jones reporter yesterday afternoon. The company said it was “a basic human error”, not an intentional leak.

Sony Ericsson forecasts the global handset market to be above 950m units this year.

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