Sony Records $280M Profit In Q2 2015 But Its Smartphone Struggles Continue

Sony’s financial turnaround continues with its Q2 2015 period. The Japanese company posted a slim net profit of $280 million (33.6 billion JPY) on revenue of $15.8 billion (1,892.7 billion JPY). Operating profit came in at $733 million (88 billion JPY).

The firm didn’t quite hit the highs of the previous three-month period, when it bagged an eight-year high $780 million operating profit on revenue of $14.5 billion, but Q2 2015 is a big jump on the $785 million loss suffered one year prior, when it wrote down $1.5 billion from its struggling mobile division. That said, revenue for Q2 2014 was around half a percent higher.

Unsurprisingly to industry watchers, Sony’s smartphone arm continues to struggle. The company, which recently rejected reports that it would exit the business as it did with its Vaio PC unit, said Sony Mobile saw “a significant decrease in smartphone unit sales resulting from a strategic decision not to pursue scale in order to improve profitability.”

How significant? Sony Mobile’s revenue dropped 15 percent to reach $231 billion (279.2 billion JPY) during the quarter. A $172 million (20.6 billion) loss doesn’t look good on paper, but it bettered the Q2 2014 loss of $1.58 billion, with that write-down included. Sony Mobile isn’t bleeding quite so hard, but it’s hard to imagine it being a particularly profitable unit any time soon.

Elsewhere, positive foreign exchange rates and continued growth of PlayStation 4 games were positives for Sony. Revenue from its game and network services division — where the PS4 falls — rose 16.5 percent year-on-year to $3 billion, with a $199 million profit (up 10 percent.)

Sony is placing significant emphasis on its highly profitable components business, through which it supplies camera parts to Apple, Samsung and others. That unit reported a $215 million profit on $1.5 billion revenue. While sales grew 4.1 percent year-on-year, profitability increased by 29 percent which Sony put down to its focus on high value devices. Sony’s semiconductor business, another supplier of smartphone makers, also had a solid quarter — reporting a $272 million profit (up 15 percent year-on-year) on revenue of $2.2 billion (up 7 percent).

Aside from mobile, Sony’s financial services unit dragged the group down with quarterly revenue and profit dropping 22 percent and 14 percent year-on-year respectively.

Note: This original version of this article was updated to correct the quarterly revenue figure for Sony Mobile.