Sony Electronics Inc, the U.S. consumer electronics unit of Sony Corp., said it was "cautiously optimistic" about the key Christmas shopping season, despite earlier comments expressing alarm over plunging U.S. consumer confidence. "Last year, the holiday season was quite good although we were cautious about our outlook. We hope to see similar resilience in consumer confidence (this year)," said Rick Clancy, senior vice president of Corporate Communications at Sony Electronics.
Sony Electronics, which rakes in roughly a quarter of Sony's total revenue, saw "stronger" sales in the April-September period compared to the first-half last year. It hopes new releases such as DVD recorders for the U.S. market next year will boost global sales, Mr. Clancy said.
Earlier this month, Sony Europe President Michiaki Tsurumi said he expected the U.S. holiday season to be "shaky." U.S. consumer confidence hit a 9-year low in October, jolted by fear of another war with Iraq and rising unemployment. Mr. Clancy acknowledged that sales of its smash hit game console, the Playstation 2, will also lead U.S. sales in the winter season, although the game division of Sony's U.S. operations contributes more to its profits than overall sales.
A major revenue source in the U.S. is large-screen television sets, a product in which Sony boasts a No.1 market share thanks to Americans' "infatuation with home electronics," Mr. Clancy said. "Plasma screen TV is one of our emerging categories," he said. Like Sony's two other key regions, Japan and Europe, sales in consumer electronics make up more than 70 percent of total U.S. revenue, outstripping sales in game, music, and entertainment combined. (Reuters)
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