Millennium Post

Sony back in black on cheap yen, healthier sales

Sony Corp is back in the black for its fiscal fourth quarter, recording $948 million profit, with big help from a weaker yen that boosts overseas earnings.

The Japanese electronics and entertainment company also dragged itself back to profit for the fiscal year ended 31 March, following four straight years of red ink.

It reported on Thursday annual earnings of $434 million, a reversal from a loss of $5.7 billion the previous year, the worst in the company's nearly seven-decade history.

Tokyo-based Sony expects the recovery to continue, and projected a $505 million profit for the fiscal year through March 2014, up 16 per cent. A weak yen helps Japanese exporters, and the dollar has gained 20 per cent against the yen in recent months. The favourable exchange rate is expected to continue in the coming months because of the policies of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who took office last year. Sony had sunk to a 255.2 billion yen loss for the January-March period in 2012, slammed by its money-losing TV business and competition from rivals Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Sales for the January-March period rose 8 percent to $17 billion, mainly from a favourable currency rate.

Sony's annual earnings were better than its own forecast for a $404 million profit, and that of analysts surveyed by FactSet at about $333 million.

In an effort to achieve a turnaround, Sony has been shedding jobs and selling assets and parts of businesses in recent years.
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