Sony Says Full-Year Operating Profit Hit by $540M Charge Amid Lower Smartphone Demand

Sony CEO Kaz Hirai

The company announces an impairment charge related to its camera module business and says it is evaluating the earnings impact from earthquakes last week.

Sony Corp. on Thursday revised its full-year earnings forecast, just days before reporting full results.

The entertainment and consumer electronics giant, led by CEO Kaz Hirai, said its annual operating profit would come in $270 million (¥30 billion) lower than previously expected due to falling demand for smartphones. The reduced projected demand for camera modules in smartphones led Sony to take an impairment charge of $540 million (¥59.6 billion) on its devices division.

But it said its annual net profit would come in $45 million (¥5 billion) higher than previously forecast because of a change in tax valuation allowances at a Japanese subsidiary.

Operating income for the year is now predicted to be $2.65 billion (¥290 billion) for the year ending on March 31, while net income is set to come in at $1.30 billion (¥145 billion).

Revenue for the year has been revised upwards to $73.87 billion (¥8.1 trillion) from ¥7.9 trillion in its January forecast.

Meanwhile, the earthquakes in the Kumamoto region of Japan this month, which affected some Sony factories, occurred after the end of the company's financial year, which finished in March. "The impact on the consolidated financial results forecast for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017 is currently being evaluated," the company said.

Sony will report its full-year earnings on April 28.