Economy, Sci & Tech

Sony's April-June Profit Climb

Sony's April-June Profit ClimbSony's April-June Profit Climb

Sony on Thursday reported a 39% rise in quarterly profit on strong sales of camera sensors and PlayStation 4 videogames, beating analyst estimates and helping to reassure investors a recent stock offering would pay off.

April-June operating profit rose to 96.9 billion yen ($780.8 million), compared with the 73.3 billion average estimate of 18 analysts polled by Reuters.

The result comes after Sony last month announced its first capital raising in a quarter of a century. Sony has said it would use the funds to boost production of image sensors, which are now among Sony's strongest-selling products.

Sony shares fell more than 8% on the day of the announcement due to fears of stock dilution, although they have since recouped much of those losses and are double their year-earlier price.

Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai is banking on image sensors to anchor Sony's turnaround, while pulling back from weak-selling goods such as smartphones and TVs that suffer competition from both cheaper rivals in Asia and industry giants like Apple and Samsung. Sony said first-quarter operating income at its devices business, which includes image sensors, rose 164% from a year earlier to 30.3 billion yen, helped by growing demand from smartphone makers.

Its gaming business' quarterly operating income rose 351% to 19.5 billion yen on stronger sales of PlayStation 4 software as well as insurance recoveries on previously incurred losses related to a cyber attack on Sony's network services.

Its mobile division reported a 22.9 billion yen quarterly loss, and now expects a full-year operating loss of 60 billion yen, worse than the 39 billion yen loss it expected in April.