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Sony Reports 2nd-Qtr., 1st-Half Profits

Sony posted strong profits for the second quarter and first half, even though the stronger yen hurt it during both periods.

During the quarter ending September 30, Sony’s sales were down 6.8% to $15.3 billion and operating income declining 36.9% to $656 billion. Net income, however, was up 3.1% to $435 million. For the first half: sales were down 7.6% to $29.1 billion; operating was income down 45.1% to $1.05 billion; and net income was down 24.5% to $607 million.

In electronics, second-quarter results were strong on a local currency basis, the company said. But compared with the second quarter of the previous year reported sales declined 5% to $11 billion and operating income declined 46.7% to $312 million, as they were substantially impacted by the yen’s appreciation.

By product: Audio sales declined 17% to around $2.4 billion during the second quarter. Video was only down 1% to about $2.4 billion, with the drop due mainly due to declines in home-use video decks and broadcast- and professional-use equipment. Sales of cellular phones substantially decreased, reflecting the discontinuation of sales and marketing in the U.S.

Television sales worldwide were down 2.3%, Sony reported, although the U.S. market increased.

However, sales of digital A/V equipment in general, and DVD-video players in particular, continued to be strong, as did digital still cameras. Sales of home-use PCs increased significantly, and Sony reported improved performance in optical data recording systems.

PlayStation sales decreased 18.4% to $1.36 billion, and operating income decreased 4.2% to $262 million, compared to the second quarter of last year. Although software sales were up worldwide, lower prices for PlayStation game consoles and the yen hurt operating income.

Shipments of game consoles were up in Europe but down in the U.S. during the quarter, Sony reported. Worldwide shipments were 6.81 million units during the second quarter, compared to 5.82 million for the same period last year. Cumulative shipments of game consoles were 65.2 million units as of September 30.