Sony rides high PlayStation 4 sales, Q2 losses narrower than expected

Thanks to strong PlayStation 4 sales, Sony has posted a narrower than expected loss in Q2 -- but the firm's mobile division still suffers.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Sony has reported narrower than expected losses in Q2, due to strong sales of the PlayStation 4 console.

The Japanese electronic giant reported its second-quarter financial results (.PDF) on Friday. Sony reported operating losses of 85.6 billion yen ($785 million) overall in the July-September period, despite a 7.2 percent increase year-on-year in revenue across the board, a total of $17.45 billion.

While Sony's operating losses reached 85.6 billion yen in Q2, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters predicted Sony would suffer operating losses of 164.3 billion yen.

The company, which has lost money in six out of the last seven years, may have performed well in Q2 — if it had not been for the struggling mobile division, which weighed down overall financial performance thanks to losses of $1.58 billion.

On Thursday, Sony revealed management changes to the company's ailing mobile division. Hiroki Totoki, current senior vice president of Corporate Planning, Finance and New Business, is replacing Kunimasa Suzuki as the new president of Sony Mobile Communications from 16 November. Sony also plans to cut the unit's staff by 15 percent, or roughly 1,000 employees.

In addition, restructuring charges within Q2 2014 increased 1.6 billion yen year-on-year to 9.4 billion yen ($86 million). The company says exiting the PC business — which has faltered over the past several years — resulted in recorded losses of 7.7 billion yen ($70 million).

In February, Sony confirmed the sale of its Vaio laptop unit to an investment fund as part of the firm's restructuring plans. In 2012, Sony's board said the PC division would be removed as it is no longer profitable — and which also saves the company money due to a slashed headcount.

However, it's not all bad news — as the Japanese electronic giant's gaming unit is doing well. Revenue jumped 83 percent year-on-year due to the PlayStation 4, and the firm's device business — which includes smartphone camera lenses and image sensors — reported revenue of $271, which is an increase of 187 percent based on Q2 2013.

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