Sony Q1 earnings plunge 47% on weak mobile sales

Sony posted a bigger-than-expected 47% fall in quarterly profit and cut its outlook, hurt by its struggling mobile phone joint venture with Sweden's Ericsson, a Reuters report said.

Rival Matsushita nearly doubled its profit on rising flat TV sales, the report added.

Sony lowered its group net profit forecast for the year to March by 17%, citing the slump at Sony Ericsson and weakening prospects for its electronics division as rivals try to undercut its Cyber-shot digital cameras and Vaio PCs on price.

'On digital cameras and camcorders, growth in developed markets such as Europe and the US slowed and competition intensified, resulting in smaller profits,' Sony SVP Naofumi Hara, quoted by the Reuters report, said.

Matsushita Electric Industrial, the maker of Panasonic products, in contrast, kept its outlook above market expectations as it cashes in on strong demand for its Viera flat TVs.