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Sony Sales, Profits Climb In Fiscal Q2

TOKYO -Driven by a “significantly improved” profit performance for color TVs and semiconductors during the fiscal second quarter ended Sept. 30, sales for Sony Corp.’s electronics business segment climbed 10.7 percent over the same quarter last year, to $12.1 billion.

Operating income in the electronics segment soared nearly 132 percent to $716 million compared to the year-ago quarter.

Both sales and income numbers reflect the impact of translated financial results, as well as the yen’s strong condition.

By product category in second-quarter 2000, compared to the same three months in 1999, sales of televisions increased 16.6 percent to $1.8 billion, and video sales climbed nearly 10 percent to $2.6 billion. Audio sales, however, decreased nearly 8 percent to $2.2 billion.

In the United States, Sony said, sales of color TVs, PCs, camcorders and digital cameras increased during the second quarter. However, overall U.S. sales were relatively flat during the three months, compared to the same quarter last year, inching up 1.1 percent to $4.9 billion.

Second-quarter profits in the electronics segment overall were primarily derived from camcorders, digital cameras, audio equipment, color TVs and semiconductors, said Sony.

For the six months ended Sept. 30, sales for Sony’s electronics segment increased 11.2 percent to $22.9 billion, compared to the year-ago period.

Operating income in the six months shot up nearly 180 percent to $1.2 billion, compared to the same six months in 1999.

Television sales led the six-month results, compared to the year-ago six months, climbing 15.8 percent to $3.3 billion. Video sales were up, by 7.2 percent, to $4.9 billion. But audio sales dropped 4.7 percent to $4.1 billion.

Six-month overall sales in the United States remained relatively flat, dropping 0.1 percent to $8.8 billion, compared to the same six months in 1999.

Citing a steeper-than-expected fall because of a strong yen, and the problems of rolling out its PlayStation2 video game player during the second quarter, Sony saw its overall net income drop more than 57 percent to $183 million, compared to the year-ago three months.

Operating income dropped nearly 14 percent to $561 million in the second quarter. Overall sales for the second quarter increased 3.8 percent to $15.7 billion, compared to the year-ago quarter.

Looking ahead, Sony said it has not revised its forecast for the overall company’s consolidated sales or operating income for the current fiscal year.

In the 12 months ended March 31, 2001, it still expects an 8 percent rise in sales, with a 4 percent dip in operating income. Net income, though, is expected to drop about 92 percent in the fiscal year.