Sony posts first profit in 5 Years while Apple posts 1st decline in net profit in 10 Years

Sony has returned to the black after five years of deficits, according to preliminary earnings results for fiscal year 2012. Sony is estimated to have posted sales of 6.8 trillion yen ($68.6 billion), 5 percent higher than its prediction, and an operating profit of 230 billion yen. Apple on Wednesday announced first-quarter sales of US$43.6 billion and net profit of US$9.5 billion. Sales were up 11 percent from a year ago but net profit slid 18 percent. This is the first first-quarter decline in net profit for Apple since 2003.

Sony suffered an operating loss of 67.2 billion yen in the previous fiscal year. Sony turnaround is attributed to improved export profitability due to weak yen as well as increased profits from affiliate Sony Life Insurance. Apple sold some 37.4 million iPhones in the three months, up slightly from 35.1 million in the first quarter last year. It also sold 19.5 million iPads, up 65 percent from a year ago. But sales of iPods were down 2 million at 5.7 million as standalone media players are becoming obsolete. Declining net profit despite sales growth means the profit margin of each item shrank.

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