Sony Expects TV Sales, Network Services To Lead Back To Growth

Things are getting better. Sony’s January-to-March sales bounced back 12.5 percent from a difficult last year to ¥1,715.1 billion ($18.4 billion).

Over the whole last fiscal year, which Sir Howard Stringer’s Sony (NYSE: SNE) also reported today, group revenue dipped 6.7 percent to ¥7,214 billion and a ¥40.8 billion loss. Still, Sony expects the next year’s earnings to go back up five percent, and to swing back to a ¥50 billion profit.

“Sony also plans to aggressively launch 3D-related products, network services and other new businesses with the aim of future growth,” the company says.

Full-year highlights from key divisions…

Consumer Products & Devices: Shed a fifth of revenue over the year, on exchange rates, Bravia TV cost cuts and a contracting market for digital still and video cameras. Sony’s writing down its LCD TV business by ¥27.1 billion ($291 million). But now expects big TV sales uplift this year.

Networked Products & Services: Lost 10.2 percent of sales due to slowdowns in the video games market and of Vaio PCs. PS3 sales are up from to 13 million from 10 million the previous year, but PS2 sales are still strong at 7.3 million compared with 7.9 million the previous year. Sony now expects a division-wide turnaround.

Sony Pictures: On a dollar basis, income grew seven percent on box office sales from movies like 2012 and Angels & Demons, but their growth was held back by falling income from home entertainment sales. Expects lower divisional sales for this year.

Sony Music Entertainment: Effectively, sales at the former SonyBMG fell five percent on a dollar basis on the shrinking CD market. Lower sales expected next year due to ongoing CD shrinkage and slowing Michael Jackson sales.

SonyEricsson: Income fell 37.2 percent to