• Shares in Sony surge after swing to profit

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    TOKYO: Sony shares soared more than 12 percent in Tokyo Monday after the electronics giant posted a nine-month net profit of almost $2.0 billion thanks to strong sales of its game console and parts for mobile gadgets.

    The firm has been working to claw back to profitability under a painful restructuring that has included layoffs and asset sales, including its Manhattan headquarters and laptop division.

    Along with rivals Panasonic and Sharp, Sony has struggled in the consumer electronics business that built its global brand, including losing billions of dollars in televisions over the past decade.

    The sector has faced fierce competition from lower-cost rivals from South Korea and Taiwan.

    But after markets closed Friday it said net profit came in at 236.1 billion yen ($1.95 billion) for April-December, reversing a 19.2 billion yen loss a year earlier.

    Operating profit more than doubled to 387.1 billion yen, while sales edged up 0.1 percent to 6.28 trillion yen.

    Shares in the firm surged 12.40 percent to close at 2,836 yen Monday.

    Strong sales of its PlayStation video games console and image sensors found in mobile gadgets help it move past years of losses, it said.

    The benchmark Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange jumped 1.98 percent, or 346.93 points, to finish at 17,865.23. That added to Friday’s 2.8 percent gain following the Bank of Japan’s surprise decision to slash interest rates to below zero, effectively charging lenders to deposit cash with it.

    AFP

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