Sony reports almost flat sales, lower income for Q1

Sony reports almost flat sales, lower income for Q1

Sales at Sony during the April to June period were almost unchanged compared to the same period a year earlier and operating profits fell.

Net sales during the company's fiscal first quarter were $US14.8 billion as of June 30, the last day of the period being reported), up 0.5 per cent, and operating income was $877 million.

"As of April, we thought in the first quarter there might be a possibility to incur an operating loss but semiconductor and devices did quite well and DVD software was favorable," group chief financial officer for Sony, Katsumi Ihara, said. "The exchange rate was a little more than we expected so we have this operating profit figure."

Net income increased around 21 times to $US2.1 billion helped by improved results at Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB and the proceeds of a payment made by Microsoft in relation to a lawsuit against InterTrust Technologies, in which Sony holds a stake.

The company reported higher sales of flat panel and LCD rear projection televisions, the latter especially in the U.S. market, as well as digital still cameras. With demand for televisions shifting to flat-panel and projection models, Sony said sales of cathode ray tube (CRT0) televisions fell.

Another area causing concern for the company was portable audio, which for the first time recorded a first quarter operating loss, Ihara said. "In the portable audio market, memory player expansion has happened and CD Walkman and MD [MiniDisc] Walkman sales have declined."

In the games sector sales fell 15.9 per cent. Software sales increased but not by enough to offset a drop in hardware sales, Sony aIS.

Shipments of PlayStation 2 game consoles during the quarter totalled 710,000 units, a decrease of 1.94 million units from the same period a year ago.

"For the PSP [PlayStation Portable] and next-generation entertainment system we continue to have a high level of investment which is bringing down profit," Ihara said.

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