By Marcus Leach

The Japanese earthquake and subsequent fall-out is the reason cited by Sony Ericsson for the fall in their profits for the opening three months in 2011.

"A challenging quarter" lead to pre-tax profits falling to €15 million, against €18 million a year ago.

"We are experiencing some disruptions to our supply chain," said chief executive Bert Nordberg.

Closures at many of the Japanese factories has disrupted the supply of components to several leading electronic companies around the world, and Sony Ericsson are no exception.

Sales fell 19 per cent to €1.15 billion, as the number of phones shipped plunged 23 per cent to 8.1 million.

Experts were not surprised by the dip in figures, given Sony Ericsson source a lot of their components from Japan.

"These results point to a significant and ongoing impact on Sony Ericsson's supply chain and operations caused by the Japan earthquake with shipments falling a considerable way short of expectations," said Geoff Blaber, an analyst at CCS Insight.