Sony’s smartphone business reports first profit in years

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Sony’s mobile business has turned a corner, reporting its first profit in years. Sony’s FY2020 results were published earlier today, highlighting its financial performance for the 12 months to 31 March 2021. Sony’s Xperia smartphone division delivered operating income of 27.7 billion yen ($254 million) in that period.

The news took Sony by surprise too, saying that the performance “exceeded our initial expectations” on the results call earlier today. Sony has delivered this performance through cost cutting and by increasing the average selling price (ASP) of their phones, rather than by selling more phones.

The number of units shipped during the year was marginally lower than the prior year at 2.9 million units (FY2019: 3.2 million). The fourth quarter performance was exactly in line with the prior year with 400k units shipped.

So Sony still has work to do in this regard. It will be interesting to see what impact Sony’s new Mark III phones will have on volumes on launch, however given their release dates, we won’t see their impact until the company’s fiscal Q2 report due in late October. Sony has not given any forecasts on how many Xperia smartphones it expects to sell this year, nor the financial performance of mobile.

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