Business World

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Sony boosted by console and computer sales

Sony, Japan’s biggest exporter of consumer electronics, raised its full-year profit forecast 17pc, citing improved earnings at its games and personal computer businesses.

Net income in the year ending March 31 will be 70 billion yen (€627m), compared with a previous projection of 60 billion yen, Sony said in a statement in Tokyo today.

The company cut its full-year sales forecast to 7.4 trillion yen from 7.6 trillion yen, citing the stronger Japanese currency.

Computer sales rose and the cost of building PlayStation 3 game consoles fell, helping Sony deliver earnings that exceeded analysts’ estimates.

Still, the maker of Bravia televisions said it’s cautious in its outlook for the main electronics business because of a deteriorating TV market in North America, echoing concerns voiced by Samsung Electronics.

“It looks like everything other than TVs did surprisingly well, but television inventories are a worry,” said Hidehiro Tomioka, who helps manage $1.4bn in Tokyo at MFC Global Investment Management (Japan) Ltd.

“It’s hard to tell where growth will come from in the future. They’ve got Samsung to contend with, and the yen as well.”

Sony fell 1.4pc to close at 2,690 yen in Tokyo before the earnings announcement. The company has gained 0.8pc this year, compared with the 13pc drop for the Nikkei index.

Profit beats estimate

Second-quarter net income totaled 31.1 billion yen, beating the 11.1 billion yen average of five analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. In the year-earlier quarter, the company had a loss of 26.3 billion yen.

Sony maintained its target to sell 15 million units of PS3 game machines, about 196 million game titles and 8.8 million personal computers.

The company revised its assumptions for the yen exchange rate to the dollar to 83 yen for the six months from October 1, from 90 yen projected three months ago. The company kept unchanged its assumption for the euro at 110 yen.

The TV industry “is heading towards harsh competition in terms of marketing and prices,” Chief Financial Officer Masaru Kato said at a briefing in Tokyo. “It’s looking difficult to bring the TV operations profitable this fiscal year.”


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