Sony on net profit upswing as PlayStation sales soar


Sony on Friday posted a nine-month net profit of ¥236.1 billion, as strong sales of its PlayStation video games console and image sensors used in mobile gadgets helped it move past years of losses.

The once-iconic Japanese giant has been working to claw back to profitability under a painful restructuring that has included layoffs and asset sales, including its Manhattan headquarters and laptop division.

The company has struggled in the consumer electronics business that built its global brand, including losing billions of dollars in televisions over the past decade as it faced fierce competition from lower-cost rivals from South Korea and Taiwan.

In a sign things are on the upswing, Sony’s ¥236.1 billion net profit for the April to December period contrasts with a ¥19.2 billion loss a year earlier. Operating profit more than doubled to ¥387.1 billion, while sales edged up 0.1 percent to ¥6.28 trillion.

In November, Sony announced that sales of its PlayStation 4 video game consoles topped 30 million units worldwide.

It has seen the fastest and strongest adoption since the first generation of the video game console was introduced in late 1994.

The firm’s upswing “was primarily due to the significant increase in sales in the game and network services segment and the impact of foreign exchange rates, substantially offset by the significant decrease in sales in the mobile communications segment,” it said.

On Tuesday, Sony said it was moving its PlayStation business to Silicon Valley and consolidating its game console offerings under one roof.

Sony also bought Toshiba’s image sensor business, which could boost its position as a global leader in components, which are found in smartphones and other mobile devices.

On Friday, Sony also said it was still on track for a ¥140 billion full-year net profit.