Sony profits up but sales remain flat

Sony has returned to profitability for the first half of this financial year, helped by restructuring and strong sales from...

Sony has returned to profitability for the first half of this financial year, helped by restructuring and strong sales from consumer electronics products.

The company reported consolidated sales of ¥3.5 trillion (£18.6bn) for the first six months, ending 30 September, and a net profit of ¥101bn.

For its second quarter, the company posted a net profit of ¥44.1bn, compared with a net loss of ¥13.2bn in the same quarter last year. Of that profit, ¥36.1bn came from a tax adjustment gained from Sony's merger with Aiwa.

Sony's consolidated sales reached ¥1.8 trillion for the quarter, a slight increase of 0.5% compared with the same period last year.

Sony said the improved results were partly due to the restructuring of its electronics business, especially in the components units.

The mobile phone business that recorded operating losses in the same quarter last year was transferred to its affiliate Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications. The company also saw a recovery in its semiconductor units.

The game business recorded an increase in hardware and software sales in Europe and the US and a "remarkable expansion" in its PS2 business yielding an overall increase in sales and operating income. Sales of consumer audio-visual products were also strong.

However, the company said it was concerned that consumer confidence could deteriorate even further. Sony revised its sales forecast for the end of this financial year downward by ¥100bn to ¥7.6 trillion but also revised its projected net income upward by ¥30bn to ¥180bn for the year ending 31 March 2003.

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