Tokyo, Mar 17 (AFP) Sony today said its net profit for the three months to December more than tripled from a year earlier, but confirmed it was on course to incur an annual loss.
The improvement stems mainly from a weak yen, increased sales of smartphones, robust PlayStation console businesses and strong demand for image sensors for cameras, the firm said.
This increase was partially offset by a significant decrease in sales in other operations, it said. It was "primarily related to Sony's exit from the PC business, and a decrease in sales in the Pictures segment, mainly due to lower Motion Pictures and Television Productions sales," it said.
Sony posted a net profit of 90 billion yen ($742 million) for the October-December term, the company said in a finalised earnings report.
Sony published provisional estimates in February as final numbers were delayed after a cyberattack at its Hollywood film unit - linked to North Korean satire "The Interview" - compromised "a large amount of data".
The 90-billion-yen profit was slightly up from the 89 billion yen the group estimated in February, and more than three times bigger than 26.4 billion yen in the same quarter of 2013.
Sales grew 6.5 per cent from a year earlier to 2.56 trillion yen and operating profit more than doubled to 182.1 billion yen, up from earlier estimated 2.55 trillion yen and 178.3 billion yen.
The company said it expected to lose 170 billion yen in its fiscal year ending on March 31, confirming its February estimate.
It also confirmed its projections of 20 billion yen in annual operating profit and 8.0 trillion yen in sales.
The finalised net-loss estimate is down by more than a quarter from a loss of 230 billion yen the group warned of last year.
Sony has struggled in the consumer electronics business that built its global brand, including losing billions of dollars in televisions over the past decade as fierce competition from lower-cost rivals pummelled the TV subsidiary's finances. (AFP) CPS