Sony’s struggling mobile unit swung back to profit in fiscal Q2, despite a dip in sales, as the business continued to benefit from restructuring initiatives and positive foreign exchange rates.

The Japanese player posted a JPY3.7 billion ($35.2 million) profit for the quarter, up from a JPY20.6 billion loss in the quarter year prior, which it put down to “cost reductions, mainly resulting from the benefit of restructuring initiatives, an improvement in product mix”, and positive impact of foreign exchange rates.

While the last two quarters for Sony’s mobile business has seen a profit, sales continue to struggle.

The company saw a 39.6 per cent decrease (34 per cent on a constant currency basis), which it said was mainly due to falling mid-range smartphone unit sales, and a “reduction in smartphone unit sales in unprofitable regions where downsizing measures were implemented during the previous fiscal year”. Revenue reached JPY168.8 billion, down from JPY279.2 billion.

Sony added the effects were partially offset by an improvement in the product mix of its smartphones, as a result of a concentration on high value models.

As it struggled to compete with the more successful smartphone players, such as Apple and Samsung, Sony restructured its business to focus on the high-end, shifting away from the mid-tier, and trimming its portfolio.

The company shifted a total of 3.5 million units in Q2, down from 6.7 million last year.

Group performance
At group level, the company saw sales decrease 10.8 per cent, with revenue reaching JPY1.7 trillion, due to the impact of foreign exchange rates, while its sensors business also struggled due to continued effects of the 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes.

Net income plunged 86 per cent, to JPY4.8 billion, down from JPY33.6 billion.

The company’s semiconductor business took a hit, with sales decreasing 5 per cent, due to a fall in image sensor sales and the impact of exchange rates.

Following the sale of its battery business, Sony also cut its annual profit outlook earlier this week.