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Sony swings to Q1 profit on back of Amazing Spider-Man 2 success, asset and stake sales

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Sony reported a profit for the first quarter of the company's current financial year of $261 billion, which is almost nine times the profit posted in the corresponding period last year.

The reported profit by Sony was a surprise, as analysts had expected the company to post a loss for the quarter. Sales of the company even increased by 6 percent to $17.6 billion.

Sony is currently undergoing a major overhaul of its business after years of posting net losses. Sony had earlier in the year sold its VAIO computer business to Japan Industrial Partners. The company reported that it had a $201 million operating loss for the first quarter in relation to Sony's formal exit from the computer business.

However, as an electronics and entertainment conglomerate, Sony received significant boosts from the other businesses that it operates, doing well in the company's movie, video games and camera businesses to offset the loss suffered due to the restructuring.

Sony was able to acquire cash from selling property in Tokyo, as well as the 9.5 million shares that the company held in video game company Square Enix.

Sony's sale of several properties for a total price of $226 million led to a $144 million contribution to the company's operating income. The sale of the shares in Square Enix, on the other hand, garnered $149 million in cash and a profit of $47 million.

The company's film division enjoyed huge success with the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and 22 Jump Street. Sony's music division also fared well, posting a 4 percent sales increase with the release of best-sellers Xscape by Michael Jackson, GIRL by Pharell Williams and Love in the Future by John Legend.

Sony, which also makes the PlayStation gaming console and the Bravia TVs, performed better last quarter compared to the corresponding quarter last year among much of its businesses, except for its mobile communications division.

Sony decided to maintain its financial year outlook through March next year of a loss of $486 million.

The company, however, decided to significantly cut its smartphone sales forecast, which is a huge blow to the company's rebuilding efforts as Sony was hoping that its smartphone business will contribute greatly to the endeavor.

Just a year ago, Sony's smartphone division was the most profitable electronics unit of the company. However, sagging sales forced Sony to cut its annual sales forecast of 50 million units down to 43 million units.

The mobile phone division was forecasted to break even this financial year. However, further review may force Sony to lower the forecast to a net loss.

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