Sony has recorded Q2 profit for strong sales of image sensors for smartphones.

Sony said Wednesday that quarterly operating profit jumped 16 percent on strong image sensor sales, the strongest result for the second quarter, and boosted its full-year earnings outlook.

The Japanese entertainment and electronics firm’s operating income for the July-September quarter was JPY 279 billion (GBP 2.02 billion or about Rs 18,184 crore), up from JPY 239.5 billion in the same period a year ago.

The results exceeded the average estimate of JPY 235 billion (approximately Rs 15,300 crore) obtained from nine analysts compiled by Refinitive.

Sony has raised its annual profit forecast to JPY 840 billion (approximately Rs 54,700 crore) from its previous estimate of JPY 810 billion (approximately Rs 52,800 crore). This was under the unanimous estimate of 23 analysts for JPY 848 billion and slightly lower than last year’s record profit of JPY 894 billion (approximately Rs 58,260 crore).

Demand for smartphone image sensors has grown significantly as phone makers have introduced multiple-lens camera systems for high-end models – a key difference being that improvements in other phone functions and features have slowed.

Apple, for example, has added a third lens to the iPhone 11 Pro model, matching the three-camera setup in flagship models for competitors such as Samsung Electronics and Huawei Technology.

But last year’s big gaming hits, such as the contribution of Marvel’s Spider-Man, reduced Sony’s gaming business profits and reduced sales of its core PlayStation 4 console, now six years old.

Sony has faced stiff competition as Google’s core alphabet and Apple’s game streaming services have entered the market. To better compete with new competitors, Sony this month slashed its annual subscription fee for the PlayStation Now cloud gaming service by 40 percent to $ 59.99.

Sony’s sensor division grew from JPY 47.9 billion to JPY 76.4 billion a year ago, while gaming business profits fell from JPY 90.6 billion to JPY 65.0 billion.

ম Thomson Reuters 2019

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