Increased smartphone sales played a significant role in Sony reporting a profit for its fiscal first quarter, as the company sold 9.6 million devices during the period.
Smartphones sales were up 29.7 per cent on the 7.4 million units reported a year ago, and the Japanese consumer electronics giant forecast that smartphone sales for fiscal 2013 will hit 42 million, up from 33 million in 2012.
However, despite the increase in smartphones sales, IDC figures actually point to Sony’s smartphone market share falling from 4.7 per cent a year ago to 4 per cent in Q1 2013.
The Mobile Products & Communications division, which also houses Sony’s PC business, recorded an operating income of JPY5.9 billion ($60 million) for the quarter ending 30 June, compared with a JPY28.1 billion loss for the same period a year ago.
Sales and operating revenue for the division totalled JPY389.0 billion, a 36.2 per cent increase on the JPY285.6 billion in Q1 2013.
As well as “a significant increase in unit sales of smartphones” the company attributed the return to profit to an increase in average selling prices.
The company highlighted the success of the Xperia Z (pictured) and Xperia A smartphones, both launched in May, and said it will increase sales and improve operating results “through further enhancement of product appeal and continued improvements in operations efficiencies”.
Moving forward, this unit is set to see operating income pressure due to lower sales of Sony’s PC products.
On a group level, Sony reported a 13 per cent increase in sales and operating revenue to reach JPY1.71 trillion.
Net income attributable to stockholders was JPY3.5 billion, compared with a JPY24.6 billion loss in Q1 2012. As well as an improvement in sales, the company benefited from to favourable changes in foreign exchange rates.