Sony Ericsson inks surprise quarterly profit

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson posted a surprise first-quarter profit on Tuesday, despite supply chain disruption due to the Japan earthquake, and said higher margins had offset lower sales.

Sony Ericsson, owned by Ericsson and Sony Corp., posted pretax profit of 15 million euros ($21.31 million) on sales of 1.1 billion.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had a mean forecast for a pretax loss of 24 million euros and sales of 1.3 billion.

Sony Ericsson had warned at the end of last year that a lack of new smartphones would make the start of the year tough.