Sony cuts Q2 2012 losses to $198 million, bumps revenue to $20.6 billion thanks to mobile

After losing a whopping $5.7 billion last year and $312 million last quarter, Sony's recent austerity measures seem to be paying off -- the company lost only $198 million in Q2. It's been madly restructuring since CEO Kazuo Hirai came on board last year and recently shuttered a lens plant in Japan while moving its mobile HQ from Sweden to Tokyo. Altogether, 10,000 jobs cuts are projected this year by Sony to help stanch the red ink, and it looks like it's started to pay off. Notably, the company saw a drop in restructuring costs over last year, when it incurred charges during the sell-off of its display businesses.

Sony's mobile operations continue to generate more revenue, gaining $3.9 billion this quarter -- more than double last year's numbers -- though it still lost $296 million compared to $356 million in Q1. Its chip plants turned around last year's $230 million Q2 loss to earn $382 million this time, likely due in part to its sensors appearing in a large number of various company's DSLRs. Its own imaging division underperformed a bit compared to last quarter but still made a small gain, while its gaming, music and picture businesses each stayed in the black. Finally, while home entertainment products like TVs and home theater systems still lost $203 million, that's a big improvement over that division's dismal $526 million loss in Q2 2011.

Sony is projecting a slight drop in revenue for its fiscal year ending in March 2013, from $85 to $83 billion compared to August's forecast. But the company kept its operating income projection unchanged at $1.6 billion -- thanks to new acquisitions like cloud gamer Gaikai and Olympus, along with such products as the new 84-inch 4K LCD TV and revised PS3 gaming console.