Skyfall boost aids 7% sales increase at Sony; losses down to €84m
on 07/02/2013 07:36:08
The group reported a 10.7 billion yen (€84m) loss for the October-December quarter compared with a 158 billion yen (€1.2bn) loss a year earlier.
The company had a record loss of 457 billion yen (€3.6bn) for the fiscal year through to March 2011 as its TV business struggled and it suffered from factory and supplier damage in north-eastern Japan from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Quarterly sales inched up nearly 7% to 1.95 trillion yen (€15.4bn) despite declining sales of gadgets such as flat-panel TVs and blu-ray video recorders, but only because Sony got a perk from a weaker yen.
The yen has been weakening because of expectations that the central bank will ease monetary policy, and that helped Sony by boosting the value of its overseas sales.
Sony has lost money for the past four years as it fell behind powerful rivals such as Apple and Samsung in profitability and innovation.
Kazuo Hirai, who took over as president nine months ago, is promising to lead a comeback with what he calls "wow" products, such as mobile devices, sophisticated digital cameras and interconnected gadgetry designed to show off Sony's technological prowess.
The problem is that rivals are doing the same and sometimes doing it faster and at cheaper prices.
Sony is expected to disclose information about the PlayStation 4 games console later this month, but it is unclear whether video games can save the firm.
Sony's TV division is in its ninth straight year of losses.
Its movie business fared better on the success of 'Skyfall' and 'Hotel Transylvania', while its music business also did well with best-sellers in Alicia Keys' 'Girl On Fire', One Direction's 'Take Me Home' and Celine Dion's 'Sans Attendre', according to Sony. Both divisions posted increases in operating profit and sales.
Sony stuck to its forecast for eking out a return to profit at 20 billion yen (€157m) for the fiscal year through to March.
It also left unchanged its projection for 6.6 trillion yen (€52bn) in annual sales, up 1.6% from the previous year.