Sony returns to black for the first time in five years

Sony's forecasts are holding true as the firm records its first profit in five years.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer on

Sony says it expects operating profit to remain steady until the end of the fiscal year after recording profit for the first time in five years.

Ending March 31, the tech giant reported net profit of $458 million in the 2012 fiscal year in comparison to a loss of $5.7 billion previously. Sony originally predicted net profit of $404 million.

Sony also recorded an operating profit of 230.1 billion yen ($2.45 billion) (.pdf) in comparison with a loss of 67.3 billion yen ($820 million) in the last fiscal year.

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Sales increased by 4.7 percent to 6,800 billion yen ($72 million). The slight increase in sales has been attributed to the takeover of Sony Ericsson Mobile -- now known as Sony Mobile Communications, as well as good exchange rates and an increase of financial services revenue.

Restructuring charges are expected to be approximately 50 billion yen for the fiscal year ending March 31 2014, in comparison to 77.5 billion yen for the 2013 fiscal year.

Sony has forecast an operating profit of 230 billion yen over this business year. Analysts surveyed by Reuters suggest this figure may be closer to 210 billion yen. The Japanese electronics maker expects that sales revenue will increase "significantly" year-on-year due to the depreciation of the yen and an increase in sales in the electronics businesses.

The electronics firm has experienced severe financial difficulty recently, as weak yen and falling consumer demand impacted the Japanese company's sale of products including LCD screens, cameras and consoles.

Even though Sony's electronics business is far from healthy, the firm has sold off a number of assets this year to climb back up to profitability -- including the sale of offices in Tokyo and New York, and the sale of the company's chemical product businesses. The electronics maker also sold a 13 percent stake in medical services provider DeNA. In addition, Sony has made a number of job cuts, slicing its workforce by 10,000 across the globe.


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