Strong Yen Helps Sony Return to Profit in Latest Quarter

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Itsuo Inouye/AP

By Richard Lawler

Sony's first earnings report of the new financial year is in and it eked out a profit, albeit a small one. The $35 million net profit is an improvement from last year's results for the same period, and the good news is most pronounced in its mobile products and communications department. Revenue grew 36 percent from last year, partially due to changes in the value of the yen, but also thanks to higher sales for smartphones -- 9.6 million units -- and a higher average selling price. The games division recorded an operating loss for the quarter, as sales of the PS3, PSP and PS2 dropped slightly while spending on research and development for the upcoming PlayStation 4 rose. Sony's (SNE) new TV strategy may have shown some results, with year-on-years sales up 18.2 percent and attributed to an "improved product mix in LCD TVs" and cost reductions.