Sony forecasts record annual profits on smartphone parts business

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Tokyo (AFP)

Sony said Tuesday it expects to book record annual profits as the once-ailing electronics giant pushes on with a turnaround driven by its PlayStation games division and a booming smartphone parts business.

The PlayStation console maker is eying a net profit of 380 billion yen ($3.4 billion) for the fiscal year to March 2018, eclipsing the previous 369.4 billion yen record hit a decade ago, while operating profit is forecast to be a highest-ever 630 billion yen, beating a record set two decades ago.

Net profit for the latest quarter to September was more than 27 times bigger than the year-before level as sales expanded 22 percent.

Operating profit jumped more than four-fold, partly due to a rebound after deadly quakes in southern Japan hit production last year.

The Tokyo-based company cited improved results in its semiconductors business, which includes image sensors found in smartphone cameras.

The results marked a comeback for the electronics and entertainment giant which has struggled in recent years with huge losses.

To try to stop the bleeding, the company has cut thousands of jobs and sold assets, including its Vaio laptop unit and a US headquarters in Manhattan.

Sony took a nearly $1 billion writedown at its movie unit last year following several box office disappointments, including the reboot of the Eighties classic "Ghostbusters" with an all-female cast and "Inferno", a sequel to the "Da Vinci Code".