Sony Promises Return to Profits in Current Year

Troubled electronics giant Sony reported a 6% increase in sales in 2014-15. It also reported its sixth year of loss in the past seven years, announcing a deficit of $1 billion for the financial year just ended in March 2015.

For the current year, however, it forecasts a return to profits, albeit on reduced sales. It said that profits in 2015-16 would reach JPY140 billion (US$111 million). In another sign of recovering health, Sony also said that it will pay an interim dividend.

For the 12 month period to end of March, Sony saw gross revenue increase from JPY 7.77 trillion to JPY8.21 trillion or $68.5 billion. Operating profits more than doubled to $571 million, but at the net level losses were little changed at JPY126 billion or $1.05 billion.

Exiting the PC manufacturing business weighed a further $330 million on the group. Total restructuring costs across the group reached $817 million.

The pictures division saw sales increase 6% year-on-year (a 4% decrease on a constant currency (U.S. dollar) basis) to JPY879 billion ($7.32 billion). There was a decrease in sales on that was primarily due to lower theatrical revenues, reflecting fewer theatrical releases than the previous fiscal year.

The division’s operating income increased by JPY6.9 billion year-on-year to JPY58.5 billion ($488 million) due to the favorable impact of the depreciation of the yen against the U.S. dollar. On a U.S. dollar basis, operating income was essentially flat year-on-year. Success was measured against a weak 2013-14 in which “White House Down” and “After Earth” underperformed.

The fiscal year also included approximately $41 million in costs of repairing the November 2014 cyberattack on SPE’s network and IT infrastructure.

For the pictures division, Sony forecast 2015-16 sales and operating revenue to increase by 16% to JPY1,020 trillion ($8.5 billion) and for its operating income to edge advance by 9% from JPY58.5 ($488 million) to JY64 billion ($533 million). It said that sales are expected to increase year-on-year primarily due to the impact of the depreciation of the yen against the U.S. dollar and because of an increase in media networks sales. The main lever raising operating income is expected to be the increase in media networks sales.

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