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Fri, Jan 27, 2006 - Page 6 News List

Sony posted record high earnings in Q3 amid restructuring

AFP , TOKYO

Sony Corp said yesterday it marked record high profit and sales in the third quarter thanks to a swift recovery in its core consumer electronics sector, declaring it no longer expected to end the year in the red.

The global electronics manufacturer, now under tough restructuring, said its net profit jumped 17.5 percent from a year earlier to ¥168.9 billion (US$1.4 billion) in the three months to December.

"I think we are recovering Sony's brand image," CEO Nobuyuki Oneda said.

Pretax profit rose 51.4 percent to ¥225.9 billion on sales of ¥2.37 trillion, up 10.2 percent. Its operating income grew 46.8 percent in the quarter to ¥202.8 billion.

The record profit and sales were mainly due to robust shipments of core items led by its Bravia brand of liquid crystal display (LCD) TVs and Vio computer series, Sony officials said.

"Bigger-than-expected sales and profit from the Bravia and Vio [lines] are major elements" for the business improvement, Oneda told a news conference.

With brisk sales and a profit in the third quarter, the iconic Japanese company revised a forecast loss of ¥10 billion for the year to March 2006 to a net profit of ¥70 billion.

Sony also saw major growth in its video-game business, saying that sales had increased 48.3 percent in the segment due to the popularity of its PlayStation Portable (PSP) console.

"Within the electronics segment, an improvement in the cost of sales ratio, as well as favorable foreign exchange rates, resulted in an increase in operating income," it said in a statement.

"In the game segment, operating income increased primarily due to the steady expansion of the PSP platform in all geographic areas," it said.

Separately, Sony is to begin talks with Samsung Electronics Co on building a ¥300 billion plant to make LCDs, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said yesterday.

Sony aims to start operations at the cutting-edge factory next year to meet surging demand for LCD TVs, it said.

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