Boosted by strong sales of digital cameras, desktop VAIO personal computers and CLIE personal digital assistants, operating income in the electronics segment at Sony moved into the black during its fiscal second quarter.
Electronics segment operating income for the period ended Sept. 30 hit $215 million, compared with an operating loss of $187.7 million in the year-ago period.
Sales in the electronics segment, however, dipped 3.6 percent in the second quarter, down to $10 billion, from $10.3 billion in the same quarter a year ago.
Video sales were the second quarter electronics segment standout, jumping 4.3 percent, to $1.7 billion, up from $1.6 billion in the same period in 2001. Audio sales dropped 9.9 percent, to $1.4 billion in the second three months, down from $1.5 billion in the year-ago quarter. Television sales were about flat at $1.5 billion in the second quarter, taking an 0.8 percent dip.
For the six months, sales in the electronics segment edged downward 1.9 percent, to $20 billion, from $20.1 billion the previous year. Six-month operating income for the segment was $618 million, compared with a loss of $175.8 million in the same period in 2001.
Televisions led the six-month electronics segment revenue statistics, gaining 11.9 percent in the period, to $3.1 billion, compared with $2.8 billion in the year-ago period. Video enjoyed a 5 percent six-month sales increase, to $3.4 billion, compared with $3.2 billion year over year. The audio category dropped 7.6 percent for the six months, to $2.7 billion, down from $2.9 billion in the same six months last year.
Sony’s game segment enjoyed a 3.1 percent sales increase in the second quarter, hitting $2.1 billion, up from $2 billion in the year-ago quarter. Game segment operating income took a significant leap, to $203 million, compared with $32.8 million in the same quarter last year. Sony reported an increase in unit sales in both hardware and software in the United States and Europe, leading to an increase in both sales and profit.
For the six months, game segment sales inched up 1.5 percent, to $3.3 billion, from $3.2 billion in the same period last year. Game segment operating income for the six months reached $224 million, up from $7.6 million year-on-year.
Sales to the United States at Sony in the three months reached $5 billion, a 1.1 percent climb, compared with $4.9 billion the previous year. Sales to the United States for the six months jumped 5.6 percent, to $9.6 billion, up from $9 billion in 2001.
A slumping global economy is expected to erode overall Sony sales for the remainder of the fiscal year, ending in March 2003. Sony revised downward its sale forecast for the 12 months, to $61 billion, compared with an earlier forecast of $62 billion. Its operating income forecast for the 12 months remained unchanged, while net income was revised upward to $1.5 billion from an earlier outlook of $241.6 million.