Sony had its best Q1 since 2006, but its mobile division continues to underperform


Sony reported its best first quarter profits since 2006 today thanks in large part to the Playstation 4 and its camera sensor business.

The company’s April to June operating profits reached $780, a 39 per cent increase from the same time last year. The increase in profits is thanks to a major restructuring plan Sony undertook earlier in the year.

Sony’s major winners were its gaming and camera sensor businesses. Respectively, the former saw income jump by 350 per cent year on year, whereas its devices business, which includes its camera sensor operation, saw income rise by 164 per cent year on year to $244-million.

Sony attributes the success of this part of its business to an increase in demand for high quality camera sensors from both high end smartphone manufacturers like Apple and Samsung, and more competitive Chinese brands. In June, the company announced that it would issue new shares in an attempt to raise $4-billion, money which it intends to use to further strengthen its position in that segment of the market.

Unfortunately, the company’s mobile division continues to falter. April to June sales dropped by 16 per cent year on year, resulting in a net loss of $184-million. Moreover, Sony now expects its mobile division to record a full-year loss of $480-million USD, not $310-million USD, as previously reported.

According to the company, the poor performance of its mobile division was due to the “strategic decision not to pursue scale in order to improve profitability.” As multiple other publications have pointed out, however, the loss probably has more to do with the Sony’s inability to release competitive smartphones at any price range.

Whatever the case, the company will need to find a way to make its mobile business relevant again, and soon.