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Sony losses widen to $312 mil

Sales rise 1.4% to $19.2 billion

Struggling Sony Corp. saw more red ink last quarter on continued softness in television and games sales. Sony Pictures, digital cameras and mobile phones helped give revenue a bump.

The giant Japanese conglom saw losses widen to $312 million. Sales nosed up 1.4% to $19.2 billion. Testament to the challenges facing new CEO Kazuo Hirai, Sony lowered the full-year financial forecast it gave in May.

Sony Pictures sales rose 6.2% to $1.9 billion on the strong theatrical perf of “Men in Black 3” and higher U.S. made-for-cable and network programming revenues.

But the film studio posted a $62 million loss on higher marketing expenses for “The Amazing Spider-Man,” released at the end of June. Profit was also squeezed by lower ad revenue from Sony TV networks in India. Studio topper Michael Lynton recently assumed the top job at Sony Corp. of America.

Revenue at Sony Music sales fell 9.8% to $1.2 billion. Profits eased to $92 million on a continued worldwide contraction of CD sales and fewer releases than last year. Best selling artists for the quarter include One Direction, Carrie Underwood and Usher.

An investor group led by Sony closed a $2.2 billion purchase of EMI Publishing on June 29. Sony Corp. of America and the estate of Michael Jackson acquired 40% of the venture for $320 million.

Sony said sales of TVs and video recorders dipped 26% to $3.2 billion. Losses narrowed to $126 million on lower costs.

Games sales fell 15% to $1.4 billion and the division swung to a loss of $45 million on lower hardware and software sales of PlayStation Portable and PlayStation3.

Camera sales rose 7.6% to $2.5 billion with profits flat from the year before at $160 million.

Mobile products, including phones and personal computers, saw sales soar by 133% to $3.6 billion on the consolidation of a join venture with Ericsson. The division swung to a $356 million loss on lower pricing.

Devices, semiconductors and components, saw sales fall 14% to $2.7 billion. Profit doubled to $202 million.

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