Sony cuts Q2 losses, boosted by mobile unit

Summary:Despite declining sales, electronics giant Sony says its losses slimmed during the second quarter with sales boosted by its still-new mobile making division.

Sony's Q2 earnings show a less-bleak picture than expected. After losing $5.7 billion last year and $312 million in the first quarter , the Tokyo, Japan-based technology giant is starting to slowly recover. 

Sony recorded an operating profit of $388 million, compared to a $20 million loss on the same quarter a year ago. On the whole, it's an improvement but Sony still has a long way to go before it reaches anything close to "healthy" status.

Net income before taxes stood at $252 million, while its operating profit stood of $388 million. However, Sony lost $198 million on revenue of $20.5 billion, after sales increased by 1.9 percent year-on-year.

Completing the firm's sale of its chemical business helped Sony during the second quarter, while other asset sales may further boost the firm's operating profit for the fiscal year. 

The technology giant's mobile division, born out of the split-up between Sony and Ericsson almost-exactly a year ago, carried the quarter. Sales increased in the mobile phone unit by more than double year-on-year, generating $3.85 billion in sales. The division, which also includes PC sales, generated an operating loss of $296 million as a result of poor consumer demand, but also as a result of the consolidation of the new Sony Mobile unit as a separate, wholly-owned subsidiary. 

Sony's imaging unit revenue brought in $2.3 billion but sales decreased 16 percent year-on-year, while the division's operating income decreased to $33 million. The firm said digital camera sales were down as a result of an increase in uptake on camera-enabled smartphones.

The gaming unit brought in $1.8 billion, but saw a 16 percent decrease in sales due to lower sales of hardware and software for the firm's gaming consoles. Operating income decreased to $29 million.

The home entertainment division saw a major beating on the sales front, a decrease of 25 percent year-on-year, but brought in $3 billion in sales. However, the television and audio equipment unit made a $203 million operating loss due to reductions in LCD panels, and a sharp decrease in television sales, down by 31 percent.

Sony's chip plants turned a profit of $382 million, compared to $230 million in the same quarter a year ago. 

Sony is projecting a modest drop in revenue for the fiscal year, ending March 2013, down to $83 billion from $85 billion compared to its earlier August forecast. The firm said its operating income projections stand at $1.6 billion as a result of new products and recent acquisitions.

Topics: Smartphones, Mobile OS, Tech Industry

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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