April 29--Sony Corp. on Friday forecasted an operating profit of Y500 billion for the business year to March 2018, up 73.2 percent from the previous year, on brisk prospects for its semiconductor and gaming businesses.
The resurgent electronics giant said it booked an operating profit of Y288.70 billion for the business year ended March 31, down 1.9 percent year on year on sales of Y7.60 trillion, a 6.2 percent drop chiefly attributed to exchange rate losses stemming from a firming yen.
Net profit, however, fell 50.4 percent to Y73.29 billion due to a Y112 billion impairment loss booked in its film business.
Despite the declines, the firm is confident it can achieve its ambitious targets for the current business year, said Chief Financial Officer Kenichiro Yoshida.
"It is the best prediction for us at this point," Yoshida said at news conference following the release of the final earnings report.
In its projections for fiscal 2017, the company expects net profit to reach Y255 billion, more than triple the figure posted in the previous business year. It also expects revenue to grow 5.2 percent to Y8 trillion.
Sony said it is seeing a rapid recovery in its semiconductor business, which produces image sensors widely used in mobile devices, after production at its chip-making facility in Kumamoto Prefecture was restricted until September by damage from the earthquakes that hit Kyushu in April last year.
The company also expects its gaming and network businesses to keep faring well, after seeing profit rise in the segment thanks to strong sales of its flagship PlayStation 4 gaming console.
Sony reported its second consecutive net profit since returning to the black last year for the first time since fiscal 2012. In that year, earnings had been lifted by one-time gains from asset sell-offs. The company incurred net losses from fiscal 2008 to 2011.
In other segments, the film unit and the component unit, which produces battery and storage media, recorded the company's largest losses at Y80.5 billion and Y60.4 billion, respectively.
Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai is scheduled explain the details of the company's business policies for the current year on May 23.
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