Sony posts 18% jump in first-quarter profit on strong image sensor business


TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Sony Corp (6758.T) on Tuesday reported an 18.4% increase in first-quarter operating profit, beating market expectations thanks to a strong performance in the image sensor business.

FILE PHOTO – Sony’s image sensors are pictured at the company’s headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, November 27, 2017. Picture taken November 27, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

The electronics firm posted an operating profit of 230.93 billion yen ($2.1 billion) for the April-June quarter, up from 195.01 billion yen a year prior.

That was above a consensus estimate of 173.61 billion yen from 8 analysts polled by Refinitiv.

The company maintained its profit forecast for the year ending March at 810 billion yen.

After two years of record profits, Sony is now facing headwinds in the games business, central to the company’s recent revival.

The gaming business is expecting larger costs to develop a next-generation console that analysts say will come in 2020, as the five-year old PlayStation 4 nears the end of its life.

But bigger profits at the image sensor business, driven by demand for large-size image sensors and multiple-lens camera systems for smartphones, offset the weakness in the gaming business.

The semiconductor business, which includes image sensors, posted a profit of 49.5 billion yen, up from 29.1 billion yen a year earlier.

The gaming business posted a profit of 73.8 billion yen, down from 83.5 billion yen a year earlier.

($1 = 108.6200 yen)

Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Stephen Coates

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