Sony Q1 2016 earnings: Mobile division barely generates a profit after major downsizing

With several different branches and business divisions, Sony is the definition of a multifaceted company. One facet of this giant however has been scraping the bottom line for years.

Sony recently released its earnings for the first quarter of 2016, which totalled $205 million USD or ¥21.2 billion. While its profits largely contracted compared to this time last year, one division seems to be looking up.

Sony’s mobile sector has historically struggled to stay afloat, however with $4 million USD (¥400 million) in operating income, mobile actually contributed to the company’s overall gains. As of the last earnings report released by Sony, the company has significantly downsized its mobile division so as to reduce the branch’s losses.

While last year, Sony recorded ¥280.5 billion in mobile sales, this quarter, the Japanese company reported a significantly leaner ¥185.9 billion in sales. Subsequently, the amount of smartphones sold came in at 3.1 million in the last three months, rather than the previously recorded 7.2 million.

While The Verge reports that Sony will likely never opt out of the mobile market entirely, it seems to have found a way to make a faltering division work in their favour. Sony only expects to sell 19 million handsets for the entirety of the 2016 fiscal year.

In addition to its mobile sector, Sony’s seen successes in other areas including the PS4, which provided the company a much-needed bump in revenue. Unfortunately however, the company reports a significant decrease in the sales of image sensors, which last quarter sparked rumours that Sony may have lost a large buyer.

Other areas of Sony’s business that saw significant losses include its battery business, which explains Sony’s negotiations to sell it to Murata by 2016.

Related reading: Sony 2015 fiscal year earnings PlayStation is up while mobile falls behind