Red-spattered Android figures sinkhole Sony's healthy financials

Apart from the crazy mobes, everything else is on the up

Santa was kind to Sony, with sales and profits rising in the final trading quarter of 2014.

However, although the Japanese giant shipped 12 million phones in the period the mobile unit still weighs the group down, and further losses are expected as Sony withdraws from the Chinese mobile market.

Sony's movie division also had a poor Christmas, but then again it can blame hackers and poor products, especially when it comes to The Interview. What's the mobile division's excuse?

Overall, in the third quarter of fiscal year 2014, Sony's mobile division saw shipments rise by a respectable 27 per cent, with an associated profit of $80m.

Sony's mobile revenue also rose, year on year, from ¥333.2bn to ¥429bn in the quarter ($2.8bn to $3.6bn), and ¥923bn to ¥1.051tn for the first three quarters of full year 2014.

However, the division still recorded a loss for the whole year of nearly ¥200bn.

Strong growth in imaging, games, home entertainment and devices meant Sony as a whole did revise its forecast upwards, to ¥8tn for fiscal year 2014, but saw a preliminary net loss before taxes of ¥170bn. The current financial year ends on 31 March.

So, leaving aside the studio element, Sony as a group would be in decent health if it wasn't for its Android smartphones.

In September the unit said it would lay of 2,100 staff as its high margin strategy ran into strong midrange competition, something that has stricken all the leading Android handset vendors.

Sony says the impact of the now famous corporate hack, attributed by the FBI to North Korea, "will not be material". ®

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