Sony Profits, Sees 2013 as Better Year for Broadcast Gear

TOKYO – Sony Corp. logged its first annual profit in five years today even as its core electrics segments were down. The company posted net income of $458 million for the year ending March 31, 2013, after years of streamlining, restructuring, favorable exchange rates and the sale of assets that included prime real estate in Tokyo and New York.

Consolidated sales totaled $72.3 billion, up 4.7 percent (in yen) over the previous year. Operating income was $2.4 billion, up from a loss posted for fiscal 2012, and inclusive of gains on sales of assets—among them, $691 million from the U.S. headquarters at 550 Madison Ave. in New York; and $450 million from Sony City Osaki in Tokyo. Restructuring charges totaled $824 million.

Sales of broadcast and pro A/V gear and consumer cameras dropped 4.1 percent in yen to $7.7 billion in current exchange rages. Operating income totaled $15 million.

“This decrease was primarily due to a significant decrease in unit sales of compact digital cameras reflecting a contraction of the low-end of the market as well as a significant decrease in unit sales of video cameras reflecting a contraction of the market, partially offset by significantly higher sales of interchangeable single-lens cameras and the favorable impact of foreign exchange rates,” Sony said.

TV sales fell nearly 31 percent in yen for fiscal 2012 to $6.2 billion. The operating loss of $740 million included restructuring charges and was down nearly 50 percent as measured in yen.

The Home Entertainment and Sound division, which includes LCD TVs, Blu-ray disc players, consumer audio gear and recorders, reported a decrease in revenues of 22.5 percent in yen, to a U.S. dollar total of $10.5 billion and an operating loss of $897 million.

“This significant decrease was primarily due to a significant decrease in LCD television unit sales,” Sony said.

Other electronics divisions include Games (Playstations), Devices (image sensors, batteries and recording media) and Mobile Products and Communications (phones and PCs). All generated less revenue last year than in fiscal 2011.

On the bright side, Sony said it expects fiscal 2013 results to show improvement on the power of the depreciating yen as well as growing sales in two electronics categories, including pro A/V and broadcast gear, part of the Imaging Product & Solutions division.

“Overall segment sales are expected to increase due to a significant increase in sales of broadcast- and professional-use products and interchangeable single-lens cameras,” Sony said. “Operating income is expected to increase significantly due to the impact of the increase in sales.”

Games also expected to do better “due to an increased in research and development expenses and marketing expenses related to the introduction of the PS4.”

Sony’s other divisions include Pictures, Music, Financial Services and “All Other”—disc fabrication, medical, OEM and broadband provision.