A weaker yen and a successful line of smartphones have helped push Sony back into the black this quarter.
Sony has had a rough go of it over the past half-decade. Japan’s best known electronics giant has lost money nearly every quarter since 2008, sometimes a spectacularly large amount. The company has been hit by a series of unfortunate events over the last five years, from the global recession, a currency that was too strong to be competitive, and earthquakes.
But this past quarter, things seem to be looking up for Sony. It was able to book a profit of $35 million for its fiscal quarter ending June 30 — up from a loss of $312 million in the same quarter a year ago.
A big reason for this change is a shift in the value of Japan’s currency, the Yen. The country’s Prime Minister, Shinzō Abe, was elected on the promise of economic reform, and his platform has brought the Yen down from record highs to a much more competitive level.
But as Sony notes in its most recent quarterly report, its up and coming smartphone division also played a role in pushing Sony into the black this quarter. Sony reports that this quarter it saw a “significant increase in unit sales” of its smartphone lines, and a bump in the average per-unit selling price of its phones. All in all the division shipped 9.6 million smartphones and sales grew 36.2 percent to $3.92 billion. The division’s profit was $60 million compared to an operating loss of $285.8 million in the same quarter last year.
It should be interesting to see next year how the Playstation 4 and tight competition in the console market impact Sony’s financials.