Sony bounced back to profit last quarter and raised its full-year earnings forecast, fueled by stronger demand for its PlayStation 3 game consoles, personal computers and televisions.
The Tokyo-based electronics and entertainment giant said Thursday it booked a net profit of ¥25.7 billion — or $294 million at current exchange rates — for the April-June quarter. That was a sharp turnaround from a ¥37.1 billion loss a year earlier. Revenue grew 3.8 percent to ¥1.66 trillion.
Healthier sales stemmed mainly from consumers in emerging markets in Asia and South America, which offset declines in Japan and the U.S.
Sony’s business was strong enough to weather a stronger yen — which can make its products less competitive in overseas markets — and weakness in its financial services business.
Since taking over in 2005, Chief Executive Howard Stringer has been trying to unite the company’s sprawling businesses, improve efficiency and rein in costs. Sony cut costs by more than ¥330 billion last year, while procurement costs declined by almost 20 percent.
The company is now rolling out new products. The maker of Bravia liquid crystal display TVs launched sales of its 3-D models last month. In May, the company partnered with Google Inc., Intel Corp. and Logitech International to offer Internet televisions.
It sold 5.1 million LCD TVs during the quarter, up 59 percent from last year. PlayStation 3 sales more than doubled to 2.4 million units.
Sony upgraded its forecast for the full year through next March 2011 as it expects the yen to keep appreciating. It now expects a net profit of ¥60 billion, up from its previous estimate of ¥50 billion. It kept its revenue projection unchanged at ¥7.6 trillion.
During the three months through June 30, the yen averaged 91 to the dollar and 115.5 to the euro, higher than the previous year, Sony said.
Operating profit — seen as an indicator of actual business performance — for the quarter was ¥67 billion compared with an operating loss of ¥25.7 billion in the same period last year. In trading Thursday, Sony shares inched up 0.1 percent to ¥2,611 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
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