Sony sold 8.7 million smartphones in its fiscal third quarter of 2012, a very slight fall from 8.8 million the previous quarter.
Sales within its recently formed ‘Mobile Products & Communications (MP&C)’ division increased 94.4 percent year-on-year to JPY318.8 billion ($3.7 billion) but this increase was primarily due to the fact the previously reported Sony Mobile business is now included in the MP&C segment (which also includes personal and tablet computers).
“On a pro forma basis, had Sony Mobile been fully consolidated in the same quarter of the previous fiscal year, segment sales would have increased approximately 10 percent,” noted the vendor in a statement. “This was due to an increase in sales of mobile phones primarily resulting from higher average selling prices, reflecting a product portfolio shift to smartphones from feature phones, and higher unit sales of smartphones, being partially offset by significantly lower sales of PCs.”
The MP&C unit reduced its operating loss from JPY48.4 billion in Q3 2011 to JPY21.3 billion for the period ending December 31, 2012. “This improvement was primarily due to the JPY33.0 billion valuation allowance on certain deferred tax assets of Sony Ericsson included within equity in net loss of affiliated companies in the same quarter in the previous fiscal year,” said the firm.
Sony gave little specific detail on its goals to grow smartphone sales, noting only that the company “aims to expand its share” in the market. Analysts believe Sony’s turnaround as an electronics giant hinges on its ability to become a global player in the smartphone space. The Wall Street Journal reported that CEO Kazuo Hirai said he expects the mobile division to turn a profit in the next fiscal year with “significant upside” if exchange rates stay at current levels.
Across the company, Sony reported a net loss of JPY10.8 billion, well below an average expectation for a JPY21.33 billion profit from analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. The loss was also Sony’s eighth straight quarter in the red.
For the fiscal year ending in March, Sony kept its outlook unchanged. It expects a net profit of JPY20 billion, an operating profit of JPY130 billion and revenue of JPY6.6 trillion.