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Sony’s Loss Falls 93% LCD Slump, Mobile Up

It looks like the Japanese giant may be making a comeback as Q3 loss is reduced 93%, sales lift 7%.

Sony’s global third quarter sales rose 6.9% to $22,3 billion to end December 31, thanks to the ascension of Sony Mobile with the Xperia smartphone range, but TV sales slumped 25%.

Sony recorded an operating profit of $534 million or 46.4 bn yen for Q3, compared to a loss of 91.7 billion yen in the same quarter 2011.

Sony consolidated sales for the nine months also rose 3.6% year-on-year to $5822bn, attributed to the consolidation of the Sony Mobile division and a weaker yen, although LCD TV, Blue Ray demand saw a “significant decrease”

Just yesterday, Sony Australia announced it would be shutting its two Sydney based stores in March due to “changing customer behaviour” and said it would adopt a kiosk retail strategy.

Sony’s nine month loss also massively decreased from 150.6 bn yen to 50.9 bn yen or $585 million.

Q3 losses fell 93% from 148.2 bn yen to 10.8 bn yen or $124 million.

Breaking down Q3 sales, its Imaging division (includes cameras) fell 4.6% with “significant decrease” in sales of compact digital cameras due to the popularization of smartphones.

Sony Game sales fell 15.1% to $ $3,0bn due to plunging demand for PlayStation and PSP consoles and games, although the loss was partially offset by the sales of the PlayStation Vita. Operating incomes for the business also suffered an astronomical fall to just $53m – a drop of 29.2 billion yen.

Mobile revenue rose a whopping 94.4% to $3,6bn due to the consolidation of Sony Mobile in February last reflecting a shift to smartphones from feature phones, and higher unit sales of smartphones, being partially offset by “significantly lower sales” of Sony PCs

Sony is banking on the success of devices like the Xperia Z smartphone and said it is streamlining its supply chain and strengthening marketing.

Average selling prices of smartphones compared to feature mobiles was also attributed to the rise. Still, Sony recorded an operating loss of $245 million- although better than the loss the previous year.

However, sales of Sony LCD TVs fell almost 25% to $2.1bn, while its ‘Home Entertainment and Sound’ division recorded a loss of $92 million. Division sales fell almost 18% to $3,7bn and includes home audio, Blu-ray Disc players and recorders.

Sony says it aims to increase sales and make its once mighty TV business profitable by March 2014 by selling “TRILUMINOS Display” LCDs, pricey 4K LCDs, launching a 4K distribution service in the U.S. in summer 2013 and the world’s largest 56″ OLED TV that displays 4K images.

It also plans to “aggressively” launch products that fit the needs of the regions in which they are launched. Sony said it is implementing the Television Profitability Improvement Plan announced in November 2011.

Sony Pictures was up 30% due to the “strong” performances of Skyfall and Hotel Transylvania, while home entertainment revenues rose on the back of The Amazing Spider-Man and Men in Black 3.

Sony’s outlook for next quarter remains unchanged, predicting a sales lift of just 1.6%, and further downgraded sales of LCD, Blu-Rays and gaming below previous forecast, although predicts Sony Mobile will continue to make gains.

It forecast a full-year net profit of 20 billion yen or $213 million.

At the end of the nine months, Sony had cash of $2,5 bn from operating activities, a decrease of 63.4 billion yen, or 22.4%.

Sony shares fell 4.3% to $ 15.13