(Adds more quotes, background)
By Franklin Paul
LAS VEGAS Jan 7 Sony Corp (6758.T) (SNE.N)
Chief Executive Howard Stringer said on Monday the media and
electronics conglomerate had a "very good" holiday season but
the current quarter may present challenges.
Economic headwinds could play a part in consumers' decision
to buy electronics, such as big-screen televisions and portable
"We had a very good third quarter," Stringer said on the
sidelines of a news conference at the Consumer Electronics Show
in Las Vegas, referring to the quarter ended Dec. 31.
"The fourth quarter is full of strange unanswerable
situations related to unemployment, related to GDP, related to
everything else," he said. "So it's too soon for us to be
pessimistic, but I read the papers."
Sony, the maker of Cyber-shot digital cameras and Vaio
personal computers, has reported encouraging news in recent
weeks, including a double-digit increase in U.S. consumer
electronics sales in the holiday season.
Its U.S. shares rose 3.2 percent to $54.10 on Monday, after
Sony's video games chief, Kaz Hirai, said on Sunday he hopes to
turn a profit on Sony's PlayStation 3 console business in the
next fiscal year, and after Sony's Blu-ray high-definition DVD
format received a boost from a decision by the Warner Bros film
studio to exclusively release DVDs using that technology.
At the news conference at the Consumer Electronics Show,
Sony said that camcorders, along with Bravia TVs helped drive
strong sales. So far, Sony said its fortune has not been hurt
by the weak U.S. economy, which some economists say is headed
for a recession.
Asked by Reuters on Monday if economic jitters has pushed
Sony to consider shifting its strategy, Stringer said: "No. Not
at the moment. We have got to be aggressive, it's the only way
we are going to grow."
Stringer has led a rebound since he was named chief
executive of the Tokyo-based conglomerate in 2005.
He set in motion a restructuring program that would cut
10,000 jobs, and is trying to meet a target to boost annual
group operating profit margin to 5 percent by the end of the
fiscal year to March 2008.
(For more from the Consumer Electronics Show, please visit the
MediaFile blog: blogs.reuters.com/mediafile/)
(Reporting by Franklin Paul, editing by Carol Bishopric)