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Sony back in black on cheap yen, healthier sales

Tokyo-based Sony expects the recovery to continue, and projected Thursday a 50 billion yen ($505 million) profit for the fiscal year through March 2014, up 16 percent.

Published: 09th May 2013 01:15 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th May 2013 01:17 PM   |  A+A-

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Sony Corp. is back in the black for its fiscal fourth quarter, recording a 93.9 billion yen ($948 million) profit, with big help from a weaker yen that boosts overseas earnings.

The Japanese electronics and entertainment company also dragged itself back to profit for the fiscal year ended March 31. It reported earnings of 43 billion yen ($434 million) following four straight years of red ink. Sony's annual loss of 457 billion yen ($5.7 billion) the previous year was the worst in the company's 66 years.

Tokyo-based Sony expects the recovery to continue, and projected Thursday a 50 billion yen ($505 million) profit for the fiscal year through March 2014, up 16 percent.

A weak yen helps Japanese exporters, and the dollar has gained 20 percent against the yen in recent months.

The weak yen is expected to continue in the coming months because of the policies of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who took office last year.

Sony had sunk to a 255.2 billion yen loss for the January-March period in 2012, slammed by its money-losing TV business and competition from rivals Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.

Sales for the January-March period rose 8 percent to 1.7 trillion yen ($17 billion), mainly from a favorable currency rate.

Sony's annual earnings bettered its own forecast for a 40 billion yen ($404 million) profit, and that of analysts surveyed by FactSet at about 33 billion yen ($333 million).

Sony has been shedding jobs and selling assets and parts of businesses in recent years in an effort to achieve a turnaround. It has lost much of its historical glamour as the maker of the Walkman portable music player and the PlayStation 3 video-game console.

But the cheap yen, which will make Sony products cheaper abroad, is almost certain to work as a big plus.

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