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Thursday, 29 January, 1998, 11:02 GMT
Sony plugs into whopping 46% profits rise
Japanese consumer electronics giant Sony saw profits in the last quarter surge 46% to 110.4bn yen (538m) - largely due to the strength of the dollar.

The company's sales for the quarter climbed 21% to 2.01 trillion yen (9.8bn) on strong sales in Japan as well as overseas markets.

While its Japanese sales and operating revenue for the quarter rose 11.6% to 513bn yen, Sony fared even better abroad, posting a 28% rise in sales in the US, totaling 626.6bn yen, and a 27% rise in Europe at 518.8bn yen.

Sony said its entertainment division recorded strong box office returns with films "I Know What You Did Last Summer" and "As Good As It Gets," and video sales of "Men in Black."

Exporters like Sony see their profits soar when the dollar and other foreign currencies rise against the Japanese yen.

Compared to the same quarter in 1996, the yen dropped around 10% against the US dollar and 12% against the pound.

Strong music sales included Mariah Carey's "Butterfly" and Barbara Streisand's "Higher Ground" albums.

For the nine-month period from April to December, Sony's net profits rose 58% to 201.3bn yen.

For the full fiscal year to March 1998, Sony foresees a 51% rise in net profit to 210bn yen on a 17% sales increase to 6.6 trillion yen.

Sony expects worldwide sales of its popular PlayStation video game machines to total 3.28 million units for the fiscal year, it said.

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