Sony cuts full-year net loss forecast by a quarter as weaker yen boosts sales

Sony on Wednesday cut its full-year loss forecast by more than a quarter to US$1.4 billion (S$1.94 billion), pointing to its latest three-month results that benefited from a weak yen and improving smartphone sales. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Sony on Wednesday cut its full-year loss forecast by more than a quarter to US$1.4 billion (S$1.94 billion), pointing to its latest three-month results that benefited from a weak yen and improving smartphone sales. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (AFP) - Sony on Wednesday cut its full-year loss forecast by more than a quarter to US$1.4 billion (S$1.94 billion), pointing to its latest three-month results that benefited from a weak yen and improving smartphone sales.

The struggling consumer electronics firm said it now expected to lose 170 billion yen in the fiscal year to March, down from an earlier loss forecast of 230 billion yen, as it also cited lower restructuring costs.

Sony's projected earnings improved as its October-December net profit more than tripled from a year earlier to an estimated 89 billion yen.

Operating profit doubled to 178.3 billion yen as sales grew 6.1 per cent to 2.55 trillion yen, Sony estimated.

It released the estimates after saying it would delay releasing finalised numbers until at least next month after a cyberattack at its Hollywood film unit linked to North Korean satire "The Interview" compromised "a large amount of data".

The company has said that the hack attack was unlikely to have a material impact on its financial results.

Sony's improving results were primarily "due to the favourable impact of foreign exchange rates, a significant increase in mobile communication segment sales reflecting an increase in unit sales of smartphones" among others, it said in a statement.

Revenue from image sensors and its PlayStation games business also picked up, it said.

But revenue was down in the movie and television production business.

Restructuring costs in the quarter were reduced by a third from a year ago, it said.

For the nine months to December, Sony estimated it had a net loss of 20.1 billion yen, reversing 9.9 billion yen in profit a year earlier.