TOKYO: Massive losses in Sony Corporation's key games division and the cost of recalling computer batteries dragged down operating profits for the financial year to March 31. But ceo Sir Howard Stringer remains bullish as to current year prospects.

Despite the operating plunge in the twelve months to March, group net profit rose 2.2% year-on-year to ¥126.3 billion ($1.1bn; €808.6m; £553.8m) while sales were up 11% to ¥8,300bn - thanks to solid demand for Bravia liquid crystal display TVs, Vaio personal computers and Handycam video cameras.

The electronics and movies giant expects operating profit in the current fiscal year to grow by a factor of six to ¥440bn and is apparently on course to reach a group-wide operating margin of 5% by March 2008.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff