Sony Seeks Sales Boost From Medical, Non-Consumer Electronics

Sony Corp., struggling to return to profit after forecasting a fourth annual loss, intends to sell more displays for medical equipment as it focuses on non-consumer products including image sensors and batteries.

“With an aging society, demand for medical equipment will increase,” Executive Vice President Hiroshi Yoshioka told reporters in Tokyo today. The push is part of a plan to double non-consumer product segments with sales of more than 100 billion yen ($1.3 billion) to 10 within five years, he said.

Chief Executive Officer Howard Stringer is seeking growth drivers at Sony’s electronics businesses after declining prices of televisions and a stronger yen eroded sales. The maker of PlayStation video games and Vaio computers acquired Micronics Inc. in September to accelerate research on health-care products and unveiled an organic light-emitting diode display for medical equipment at a trade show in Japan this month.

The electronics maker rose 2.3 percent to 1,363 yen at the close of Tokyo trading. The stock has dropped 53 percent this year, compared with a 19 percent decline for Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average.

Sony will also create a division for image-sensor modules used in smartphones and tablet computers on Dec. 1.

After floods in Thailand halted image-sensor output at factories in the country, production will be shifted to a plant in Kumamoto, southwestern Japan, in the beginning of next year, spokesman Hiroshi Okubo said.

The effect of the floods “wasn’t as bad” as the company estimated three weeks ago, Yoshioka said.

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