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Sony doubles net income forecast ahead of annual earnings report

Sony has raised a number of key financial forecasts for the fiscal year to March 2013, ahead of releasing a full earnings report on 9 May.

The Japanese consumer electronics giant now anticipates it will report net income of 40 billion yen (£262m), double its previous forecast of 20 billion yen (£131m).

Sony also upped its operating-profit outlook to 230 billion yen (£1.5bn) from 130 billion yen (£852m), and bumped up sales estimates to 6.8 trillion yen (£44.7bn) from 6.6 trillion yen (£43.3bn).

Financial pundits are attributing the improved outlook to the effects of a weaker Japanese yen and the extra income generated through asset sales.

According to the company, its original forecasts were based on an assumption of 88 yen to the US dollar and 115 yen to the euro; the actual rate turned out to be 92.4 yen to the dollar and 121.9 yen to the euro.

In addition, Sony appears to have benefitted from its policy of aggressive asset sales - the firm off-loaded its New York-based US headquarters in January for $1 billion (£647.2m). The company also noted that its life-insurance arm was performing well.

Sony is now on course to record its first profit in five years, as the company looks to revive its fortunes under Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai, who took charge in April 2012.