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Thursday, May 09, 2013
Sony Reports Annual Profit After Five years Of Losses

Sony today reported an annual profit for the first time in five years, boosted by asset sales and a weakening yen.

Net profit was 43bn yen ($436m) in the year to 31 March, compared with a 457bn loss a year earlier.

Sony said the yen's recent fall boosted sales.

The Japanese company has been also trying to restructure its business model and reduce its costs. As part of the process, the firm has sold key assets over the past few months, including its US headquarters in New York and some of its shares in M3, a medical research and marketing firm. The firm has also offloaded its "Sony City Osaki" building in Tokyo. Sony said the sale of all these assets had resulted in gains of nearly $2.5bn during the last financial year.

Sony bets on the growth of its gaming and digital imaging in order to rebound in consumer electronics after more than a decade of decline.

The company on Thursday forecast smartphone sales to rise more than one-fourth to 42 million in the year to next March. It predicted sales of its digital cameras and Playstation consoles would contract at double-digit rates.

The new Xperia Z smartphone has exceeded the company's sales expectations since its launch in January.

Sony is betting on its new smartphone to help it secure an operating profit of 230 billion yen ($2.33 billion) this business year.

Sony forecast sales of televisions to rise to 16 million this business year with the division seen returning to profit, after a drop last year to 13.5 million.

Digital camera sales are forecast at 13.5 million this year, a 20 percent drop, while its handheld game consoles, the PSP and PS Vita, are projected to fall nearly 30 percent to 5 million.

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