Japan's Sony expects 'highest-ever' annual profit

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Japan's Sony expects 'highest-ever' annual profit

Sony Corp. reported Tuesday that its fiscal second quarter profit zoomed by 26-fold from the same period a year ago, boosted by the success of its image sensors, game products and the latest "Spider-Man" movie.

The parent company today announced increases in revenues and net profit in the second quarter of the current fiscal year. Sales grew 22 percent to $18.25 billion (¥2.1 trillion), thanks to a strong performance in the games division and the weakening of the Japanese yen against the dollar and euro.

Its net profit increased $1.11 billion (126.0 billion) year-on-year to $1.16 billion (130.9 billion yen), while operating profit gained $1.4 billion (158.5 billion yen) year-on-year to $1.81 billion (204.2 billion yen).

Sony has suffered in recent years as it fell behind rivals like Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea and Apple, which makes the iPhone, in flat-panel TVs and mobile phones.

Sony said Tuesday it expected to book record annual profits as it pushes on with a turnaround driven by the PlayStation games division and a booming smartphone parts business while it also scored a hit with the newest Spider-Man movie.

The latest estimate factors in roughly 50 billion yen set aside for responding to possible business emergencies.

Sales in the Pictures segment rose 27.0% year-on-year to $2.16 billion (244 billion yen), while operating profit increased from $28 million (3.2 billion yen) to $68 million (7.7 billion yen).

Sony's perennially strong performing financial services businesses, such as life insurance and online banking, also did well, it said.

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