Sony reports record profits as PS3 losses shrink

Written by Agencies | Tokyo, January 31: | Updated: Jan 31 2008, 21:57pm hrs
Japans Sony Corporation said on Thursday that its third-quarter net profit jumped by 25 per cent to a record high as its video game division finally returned to the black.

Sony is enjoying a strong recovery after being caught off guard in recent years by innovative new products such as Apples iPod and Nintendos Wii.

The company, which is often seen as a bellwether for corporate Japan, hiked its forecast for annual net profits, which are expected to hit a record high.

Sony said its game unit had swung back into the black for the first time in two years after it introduced a cheaper version of the PS3 video game console in response to fierce competition from Nintendo.

Net profit rose 25.2 per cent to USD 1.88 billion in the three months to December, helped by foreign exchange gains and the huge flotation of its financial services arm, a company statement said.

Operating profit increased 5.8 per cent to 189.4 billion yen as revenue grew 9.6 per cent to an all-time high 2.86 trillion yen on brisk sales of Cyber-shot digital cameras, Vaio PCs and Bravia liquid crystal display (LCD) TVs.

LCD televisions and PCs sold well in all regions.

Digital cameras sold well in foreign markets, and contributed to the earnings, said chief financial officer Nobuyuki Oneda.

Sony reported double-digit year-on-year sales growth in the mainstay electronics division, which made its second highest operating profit.

The game division posted an operating profit of 12.9 billion yen, reversing a loss of 54.2 billion yen seen a year earlier due to red ink from the PS3.