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Sony surprises with Q1 profit, lifts outlook
July 29, 2010 / 7:13 AM / in 7 years

Sony surprises with Q1 profit, lifts outlook

* Operating profit at Y67 bln vs market forecast for loss

* Raises annual outlook to Y180 bln yen from Y160 bln

* Profit boosted by strong sales of PCs, TVs, PS3

* Sony shares close up 0.1 pct ahead of announcement

(Adds details)

TOKYO, July 29 (Reuters) - Sony Corp (6758.T) unexpectedly swung to a quarterly operating profit as improved demand for electronics and aggressive cost cuts countered the impact of a stronger yen and it lifted its annual forecast. Fears over the economic effects of Europe’s debt crisis are clouding the outlook for Japan’s exporters. The euro EURJPY= has fallen more than 10 percent against the yen since April 1.

Sony, the world’s second-largest camera maker after Canon Inc (7751.T) and the No. 3 maker of flatscreen TVs after Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) and LG Electronics (066570.KS) made more than 25 percent of its sales in Europe in the year to March 2010.

But Sony saw big improvements in sales of LCD TVs, PCs and Playstation 3 game consoles and game software.

For the year to March 2011, the electronics and entertainment giant lifted its operating profit outlook by 12.5 percent to 180 billion yen ($2.1 billion), compared with a consensus estimate of 152.6 billion in a poll of 22 analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company reported April-June operating profit of 67 billion yen versus a consensus forecast of a 13.1 billion yen loss in a poll of four analysts and a loss of 25.7 billion yen a year earlier.

On Wednesday, LG missed estimates with a 90 percent fall in quarterly profit, hit by falling margins in its TV business and a loss in its mobile phone division.

Sony’s mobile phone joint venture with Ericsson (ERICb.ST), Sony Ericsson, posted a second consecutive quarterly profit earlier in the month, recovering from a dismal 2009 on robust demand for smartphones.

Shares of Sony rose 0.1 percent to 2,611 yen on Thursday ahead of the announcement.

(Reporting by Isabel Reynolds; Editing by Anshuman Daga)

((isabel.reynolds@thomsonreuters.com; +813-6441-1883; Reuters Messaging isabel.reynolds.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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