The Sony we used to know and love is slowly returning. With products like the Xperia Z, awesome headphones, some seriously good TVs, and cutting out the crap, Sony's managed to drag its loss-making arse back into the black. It made its first annual profit of £280 million in five long years, but it's not all good news.
Unfortunately, this newfound profit isn't wholly supported by product sales, as according to Sony, the fall of the Japanese yen versus the pound and dollar made a big difference to its bottom line. It made Sony-produced products suddenly cheaper for importers to buy resulting in higher sales. It also meant that when the electronics giant brought money back home from its operations outside Japan, its dollars and pounds were worth more in Sony's homeland.
Coupling the fall in the yen with asset sales, Sony's bottom line was artificially boosted by consolidation. That means, while it's great news that Sony's finally made a profit, this year will really be the telling point. If Sony is to continue a return to profitability in the long term, its products, not asset sales, need to do the business. There are only so many bits of the company and buildings you can flog off before you run out of things to sell. Let's hope the PS4 has the guts to turn things around. [BBC]