Some news for Sony to be cautiously optimistic about this week, as they posted a healthy profit in their year-end financial report. The ¥43bn (£280 million) profit was the first the company has returned in five years.
It’s probably not all spongecake and party-poppers down at Sony HQ though. The profits are largely the result of two things: massive asset sales like the selling off of their New York and Tokyo office buildings and the comparative weakness of the Yen against the US Dollar.
The Yen is down around 20 per cent on the Dollar since November last year. With this report covering Sony’s financial year, up to the end of March, that drop will have a significant impact on their income for two reasons. Firstly, it makes their products more profitable in the west (or cheaper, if retailers so choose). Secondly, the conversion on western sales income from US Dollars to Yen as it re-enters the Japanese economy is very favourable.
But that’s not to take anything away from Sony as their program of aggressive restructuring of business assets seems to be paying off. Such a positive report in a year when their research and development budgets must surely be taking a spanking at the hands of the PlayStation 4 is something they will likely be quite pleased about.
Next year’s report, which will include the first flush of PS4 sales data for at least one region (and we’re really hoping for all three), will be very interesting indeed.