Sony sticking to profit margin targets, says CEO

After a bruising 2006, Sony CEO Howard Stringer said the company is prepared to meet its operating profit margin goal for the next fiscal year, though an exact roadmap of how it'll get there remains in flux, an Associated Press report said.

Quoted by the Associated Press report while speaking before a group of reporters at the International Consumer Electronics Show, Stringer said he still needs to assess with other top executives how various Sony divisions will help steer the battered behemoth back to health.

Sony last year set a target of reaching an operating profit margin of 5% for the fiscal year ending in March 2008, the report said.

The report said In October, Sony reported a 94% drop in profits for its third quarter, due largely to a global recall of faulty laptop batteries and losses in its gaming division.

Stringer declined to cite the importance of one division over another in Sony's recovery but stressed that the company's former practice of allowing one unit's success to cover the losses of another is history.

After falling behind rivals in key products such as televisions and music players, electronics sales now face a more positive outlook, according to Stan Glasgow, president of Sony Electronics in America.

Aided in part by robust sales of its Bravia line of TVs and home audio products, Glasgow said the electronics unit was now seeing gross margin profits of 4%, he said.