Sony sees profit this fiscal year, despite PSN breach

LCD TV sales will push Sony's profits to more than $963 million in the fiscal year that ends next March, the company predicts. That stands in stark contrast to the most recent year.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
Will Sony's LCD TVs save the day? Screenshot by CNET

Although Sony had a rough time in its most recent fiscal year, the situation is apparently looking up for this year.

In the 12 months that will end March 31, 2012, Sony expects to generate revenue of 7.5 trillion yen ($90 billion, based on Sony's exchange forecast) and a profit of 80 billion yen ($963 million).

Sony's expectations of its performance stand in stark contrast to its most recent fiscal year, which ended March 31. The Japan-based company said today it lost nearly $3.2 billion in FY 2011 on revenue of nearly $88 billion.

Earlier this week, Sony prereleased its earnings, asserting that much of that loss was due to the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11. The company was forced to take a quake-related sales hit of 22 billion yen, Sony has said.

For the current fiscal year, Sony said its higher revenue and profit will be attributable to LCD TV sales. In addition, the company believes it will see higher sales in its game business, likely due to the possible launch later this year of the Next Generation Portable. That device, which will replace Sony's current PlayStation Portable, is expected to feature dual thumbsticks, a 5-inch display, and vastly improved graphics compared.

On the downside, Sony is forecasting declining sales and operating income in its music business due to the continued "contraction of the physical music market."

Another issue Sony is still handling is the fallout from last month's PlayStation Network and Qriocity security breach, which left the personal information of millions of people open to hackers. The services weren't restored until mid-May. This week, Sony unveiled an identity-theft-protection service, called AllClear ID Plus, to help safeguard its subscribers. It also offered a $1 million insurance policy to each person in the event of identity theft.

All those efforts, in addition to the cost of rebuilding its security infrastructure, could lead Sony's video game operating income to "significantly decrease," the company said in today's release.