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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sony profit fell 47.4% in quarter; forecast pared

Staff writer

Sony Corp. said Tuesday its group net profit plunged 47.4 percent to ¥35 billion in the April-June quarter from a year ago amid fierce competition in the consumer electronics sector, including compact digital cameras and computers.

The group's operating profit meanwhile dropped 39.5 percent to ¥73.4 billion.

Sony cited a sharp decline in profit at its Sony Ericsson unit due to slowing mobile phone sales in Europe as another factor dragging down the group's profits.

The electronics giant also revised downward its net profit forecast for the full year to March due to weak sales in North America, which have been on a downtrend since the U.S. subprime loan crisis hit last year.

Sony expects to rake in ¥240 billion in net profit for business 2008, although in May it had predicted a ¥290 billion profit. Sales are forecast at ¥9.2 trillion, compared with ¥9 billion in its May estimate.

"Sales in North America in the audiovisual sector will drop except for liquid crystal display products," said Nobuyuki Oneda, Sony's chief financial officer. "We need to create better products than our rivals."

Sales in its flat-screen TV business jumped 33 percent to ¥313 billion in the April-June quarter, and operating loss shrank to ¥19 billion from a ¥37 billion loss in the same period last year.

Sony expects to log a profit in the TV business in the full year to March.

Meanwhile, the overall consumer electronics sector, including TVs, suffered a 57.2 percent fall in operating profit to ¥44.4 billion due to weak sales of digital cameras, video cameras and personal computers.

However, Sony's game sector, which had earlier been reporting losses, booked an operating profit of ¥5.4 billion, compared with a loss of ¥29.2 billion a year ago. Sales rose 16.8 percent to ¥230 billion thanks to demand for PlayStation Portable hand-held game players and the PlayStation video game console series.

Toshiba posts loss

Kyodo News

Toshiba Corp. said Tuesday it incurred a group operating loss of ¥24.18 billion for the April-June quarter due to a lackluster flash memory market.

For the first quarter of fiscal 2008 ending next March, Toshiba posted a consolidated net loss of ¥11.61 billion, compared with a ¥20.63 billion net profit a year before on sales of ¥1.62 trillion, down 2.8 percent.

It marked the first quarterly operating loss reported by the electronics giant since the April-June quarter of 2005. In the same period last year, Toshiba reported a group operating profit of ¥21.18 billion.

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The Japan Times

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