TOKYO – Sony Corp. reported an 88.4 billion yen ($818 million) loss in January-March, a smaller flow of red ink than a year earlier, but it postponed Thursday giving its annual outlook until May, citing damage from major earthquakes in southwestern Japan earlier this month.
The quakes shut down Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp.’s Kumamoto Technology Center, which makes image sensors and other devices.
Quarterly sales for the Japanese electronics and entertainment company slipped nearly 6 per cent from a year earlier to 1.8 trillion yen ($16.9 billion). The company racked up a 106.8 billion yen loss in the same period a year earlier.
For the fiscal year ended March 31, Sony posted a 147.8 billion yen ($1.4 billion) profit, a reversal from 126 billion yen in losses the year before. It was the first time in three years Sony was able to post a profit.
For the quarter ended March 31, Sony’s operations in mobile communications and devices lagged, while games, movies and imaging operations fared better.
Sony’s Xperia mobile phones have struggled in a market dominated by Apple Inc.’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy phones.
Tokyo-based Sony, once a symbol of Japan’s corporate prowess with its pioneering music-on-the-move Walkman, is sunk in deep trouble.
It has been trying to reshape its business to focus on profitable operations and selling some assets, such as its Vaio personal computer business. Its TV business lost money for a decade due to the shift to flat panel sets.
Sony has been moving aggressively into high-end video cameras and SLR, or single-lens reflex, cameras, charging less than Japanese rivals Nikon and Canon.
In its movies division, it lacked the previous year’s home entertainment income from “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” but TV production sales did better because of video-on-demand licensing revenue for “Breaking Bad,” ”The Blacklist” and “Better Caul Saul,” according to Sony.
Among Sony’s popular music recordings released for the fiscal year ended March 2016 were by Adele, One Direction and David Bowie, it said.
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