Sony announced results for the fiscal year ending in March, and it’s a mixed bag. Despite strong performances in the mobile and gaming business, the Japanese giant recorded another net loss, casting doubt over hopes of a turnaround.
Sony managed to obtain a small profit in 2012, but restructuring costs and falling sales in several categories will make the 2013 net loss extend into 2014, the company estimates. That would be Sony’s sixth year of losses in seven years.
For 2013, Sony announced a ¥128.4 billion ($1.25 billion) net loss on sales of ¥7.77 trillion ($75.4 billion). That’s compared to the ¥43 billion ($458 million) net profit in 2012. The company attributes the loss to the costs generated by restructuring activities such as the sale of its Vaio PC unit or the spinoff of its TV business into a wholly owned subsidiary.
Results could’ve been worse without the favorable exchange rate and strong performance in the mobile and gaming (PS4) business.
Xperia is growing steadily
The company said smartphone unit sales grew “significantly,” which, along with the increase in the average selling price and the falling yen, contributed to a massive 62.5 percent increase in sales year over year.
Sony said it sold 39 million smartphones in fiscal year 2013, compared to 33 million in the previous year. For fiscal year 2014, the company hopes for 50 million unit sales, translating in a 28.4 percent increase in operating revenue.
So, what do these figures tell us? For Xperia fans, the good news is that Sony’s smartphones are gaining traction in the market. The increase in average selling price suggests Sony’s been especially successful at the high-end of the market and the company’s strategy to quickly iterate the Xperia Z line seems to be paying off.
The 50 million target for 2014 doesn’t seem too ambitious, but with strong competition from LG, Huawei, and Lenovo, it will be very hard for Sony to make it to the top five, behind Samsung and Apple.
Also worth nothing are the good results in the imaging sensors business, buoyed by high smartphone demand. Sony sensors equip many high-end Android devices, including the recently launched OnePlus One, Oppo Find 7 and Huawei Ascend P7. However, Sony lost a big order from Samsung, who opted to use its own Isocell sensor on the Galaxy S5.