A blitz on costs has led Sony to post its first net profit in five years.
The electronics giant, whose performance and potential has been privately lauded by UK retailers and operators, posted net income of ¥43bn (£279.4m) for the year ending 31 March 2013. This compares to a loss of ¥456.7bn (£2.97bn) last year.
Its mobile and communiciations division, which includes PC sales as well as handsets, saw its sales increase by 102% to ¥1,257.6bn (£8.18bn). This was largely due to consolidating Sony Mobile into its business and buying out Ericsson's share of the joint venture. On a like for like basis, sales would still have increased by 18%. Sony said this was due to the higher average selling prices of shifting its portfolio to smartphones.
However, the cost of consolidating Sony Mobile hit its bottom line, with the division posting a ¥97.2bn (£632.4m) operating loss for the year. Sony is optimistic about the year ahead for its mobile wing, with sales of high end smartphones predicted to boost sales and profits.
Across Sony's wider business, sales were up 4.7% to ¥6,801bn (£44.2bn), mainly because of the impact of rolling Sony Mobile into the company. On a like for like basis, sales would have fallen 2%. The bounce back in its net profit can be attributed to a sale in assets, which includes its Madison Avenue US headquarters being purchased for $691m (£443.8m).
Author: Graeme Neill