Sony profit beats estimates as videogames help offset sensor decline

TOKYO: Sony Corp (6758.T) on Friday reported quarterly profit that beat market estimates, as videogame sales and cost cuts in its flagging mobile business offset a fall in sales of the image sensors that had led the company’s turnaround a year prior.

October-December operating profit rose 11 percent from a year earlier to 202.1 billion yen ($1.68 billion), beating the average 175 billion yen forecast of 8 analysts according to Thomson Reuters data.

Sony has fallen behind Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) as well as low-cost Asian rivals in consumer electronics such as smartphones and TVs.

But cost cuts as well as strong sales of PlayStation 4 games and image sensors used in smartphones helped a turnaround at the Japanese manufacturer over the past year.

Worries about weaker sales of Apple’s iPhones and a slowdown in China’s mobile market have weighed on Sony shares in recent weeks. The stock closed at 2,523 yen on Friday, down around 16 percent since the start of the year.

Sony said quarterly sales of devices, including image sensors, fell 13 percent from a year earlier. The segment, also hit by weak battery sales, booked a loss of 11.7 billion yen compared with a 53.8 billion yen profit in the previous year.

The company maintained its outlook for full-year operating profit to grow to 320 billion yen from 68.5 billion in the previous year.


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