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Sony weaves its way back into the black for first time in five years thanks to weaker yen

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Struggling electronics giant Sony yesterday announced it had made a profit for the first time in five years.

The Japanese company, which has been hit by an increase in competition in recent years, posted net profits for the 12 months to March of ¥43bn (£280m), compared to a ¥457bn loss the previous year.

The success of last year's blockbuster The Amazing Spider-Man helped as its movies and music businesses contributed a combined ¥95bn in profits.

However Sony's most profitable business last year was financial services and insurance subsidiary, which posted an operating profit of ¥146bn, while its consumer electronics division shrunk its losses to ¥84bn.

Last week it was announced 40 of Sony's top bosses would give up their bonuses over losses at the business.

The company said income from overseas sales climbed on the back of the 20 per cent slump in the value of the yen since November. The yen's decline made the company's range of appliances much cheaper for foreign buyers.

But the firm is banking on making fresh inroads in the smartphone sector to revive its flagging fortunes after being forced to flog its US headquarters in New York and its "Sony City Osaki" building in Tokyo.

Sony's five-inch screen Xperia Z smartphone launched in January has sold better than expected but the firm remains some way behind market leaders Samsung and Apple.