Sony Profit Surges in First Quarter

Jul 30, 2015

Sony Corp.said Thursday that its net profit more than tripled during the April-June quarter, helped by strong sales in its videogame and smartphone image sensor divisions.

Net income rose to ¥82.44 billion ($665 million) from ¥26.8 billion a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by the Nikkei had expected a profit of ¥50.5 billion. Sales were ¥1.81 trillion, roughly flat from ¥1.8 trillion a year earlier.

After a multiyear restructuring led by Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai, Sony is less dependent on low-margin or money-losing consumer electronics businesses such as televisions and mobile phones. The company’s shares have roughly doubled over the past year on signs that the turnaround is starting to work.

Sony sells image sensors that are used in digital cameras to smartphone giants such as Apple Inc.,SamsungElectronics Co. and Xiaomi Inc. Analysts say Sony -- which has already said it is spending ¥210 billion to increase sensor capacity -- may need to invest even more to meet demand.

Sony said Thursday that sales in its “devices” division, which includes image sensors, rose 35% in the April-June quarter.

Another pillar of the restructuring is the PlayStation 4 videogame console, which is outselling Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox One and Nintendo Co.’s Wii U. Sales in the game unit rose 12% in the quarter, Sony said.

Meanwhile, the company’s mobile phone business recorded an operating loss of ¥22.9 billion in the quarter. The head of the division, Hiroki Totoki, has said he expects further losses this year but plans to make the business profitable again from the next fiscal year starting April 2016.


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