News Column

Sony Back in Black

May 9, 2013

Sony Corp returned to the black for the first time in five years in the financial year that ended in March, thanks to a weaker yen and rising share prices, the company said Thursday.

The Japanese consumer electronics maker booked a net profit of 43 billion yen (435.7 million dollars) for the year, a turnaround from a record annual net loss of 456.7 billion yen for fiscal 2011. It posted an operating profit of 230.1 billion yen, compared with an operating loss of 67.3 billion yen the year before.

Annual sales reached 6.8 trillion yen for the year that just ended, up 4.7 per cent from 6.49 trillion yen for fiscal 2011.

Sony's television business, however, ended fiscal 2012 in the red for the ninth straight year.

The company said its home entertainment and sound sector posted an operating loss of 84.3 billion yen, down 22.5 per cent.

Last week, Sony said president and chief executive Kazuo Hirai and about 40 other executives agreed to give up their bonuses due to the continued losses in the electronics sector. Such bonuses make up 30 per cent to 50 per cent of their annual salary.

Hirai, who took office in April 2012, vowed to turn the business around as the company has been left far behind rivals such as Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co. He has costs and streamlined operations.

Hirai said Sony would strengthen its core electronics business and step up restructuring efforts, aiming to post 8.5 trillion yen in sales in the financial year to March 2015.

In the January-to-March quarter, Sony logged a net profit of 93.9 billion yen, a turnaround from a net loss of 255.2 billion yen in the same period last year.

The company reported an operating profit of 147.1 billion yen in the quarter, compared with an operating loss of 1.4 billion yen a year ago, while sales were up 8.3 per cent to 1.73 trillion yen.

Sony expected a net profit of 50 billion yen for the current financial year while predicting an operating profit of 230 billion yen and sales of 7.5 trillion yen.

The yen has dropped 25 per cent against the US dollar since November. A weaker yen makes Japanese products more competitive overseas and improves repatriated earnings.

Shares in Sony have more than doubled from a 32-year low in mid-November.

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Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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