Sony Sees Strong Demand for PS4 Games as Mobile Business Slumps

Sony said Tuesday its fiscal first half net profit dived owing to a sharp rally in the yen and losses linked to the sale of its battery business. The Japanese electronics giant, which has been shedding assets as part of a broad restructuring, said it had a JPY 26 billion ($248 million or roughly Rs. 1,655 crores) net profit in the six months through September, down nearly 78 percent from a year ago. Revenue during the period fell more than 10 percent to JPY 3.3 trillion "primarily due to the impact of foreign exchange rates", Sony said. The company said sales in its mobile communications business slumped, offsetting strong demand for games for its hugely popular PlayStation 4 game console.
Tuesday's first-half results come a day after Sony warned that it now expected a net profit of JPY 60 billion (roughly Rs. 3,820 crores) in the year through March 2017, down from an earlier JPY 80 billion forecast.
It cited impairment charges and other costs linked to the sale of its battery division to Apple supplier Murata Manufacturing. In July, Sony cut its full-year sales forecast - trimming it to the current level JPY 7.4 trillion - as it blamed the surging yen and slower smartphone sales. Japanese firms have benefited from a weak currency in recent years, which allows them to make their products cheaper overseas. But the yen, which is seen as a safe bet, shot up since the start of the year amid wild volatility on world financial markets and as uncertainty over Britain's decision to leave the EU stoked demand for less risky investments. Sony has also warned that a pair of deadly quakes in Japan in April would also dent financial results. The quakes, which caused major damage in southern Kyushu and claimed dozens of lives, forced Sony to temporarily shutter factories, hitting production and sales. The once-iconic firm has been working to stay profitable after years of huge losses, under a painful restructuring that has included layoffs and asset sales.

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