October 14, 2011 / 7:46 AM / 8 years ago

Sony Ericsson CEO sees risks from shaky confidence

(Reuters) - Weakening European economies could hit the mobile industry, handset maker Sony Ericsson’s chief executive said.

“This is a concern. If the consumer confidence problem continues it is hurting the mobile industry,” Bert Nordberg told Reuters in an interview on Friday.

While the outlook for consumer spending has worsened in recent weeks, analysts have changed their fourth-quarter cellphone sales forecasts only slightly, with a Reuters poll finding they expected a historically normal 12 percent quarter-on-quarter rise.

When asked how the crisis might affect the holiday sales-fueled fourth quarter, Nordberg said: “I am not confident at all. Its very hard to predict.”

Earlier, the No 9 phone maker reported third-quarter profit in line with expectations and was tight-lipped about a report that electronics giant Sony was set to take full ownership of the brand.

Last week, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters that Sony was in talks to buy Ericsson’s 50 percent stake in the joint venture.

Reporting By Tarmo Virki; Editing by Dan Lalor

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