Sony boss Howard Stringer's measures to improve the company bottom line by cutting costs and pruning business divisions look to be having the desired effect, judging by yesterday's quarterly financial results announced in Tokyo.

Fiscal Q2, the latest complete quarter, provided Sony with profit of ¥73.7 billion (£315 million) - more than 40 times better than the same quarter last year and a surprisingly respectable showing alongside Nintendo's widely expected ¥132.4 billion (£506 million) recorded over six months.

Core business looking solid

Key areas for the recovering giant have been digital cameras and LCD televisions, but - as was anticipated - the gaming division went through another rough quarter to bring the numbers down. The weak showing of the PlayStation 3 resulted in gaming losses of ¥96.7 billion (£413 million).

Sony's board and shareholders will be heartened to see the core electronics business returning to profitability - sales were up more than 20 per cent - and black figures being returned by Sony Pictures through mass-appeal movies like Spiderman 3.

Stringer's policy of cutting unprofitable businesses, such as the luxury Qualia marque and the domestic robot division responsible for Aibo, is unlikely to stretch to canning the PS3, but if recent price cuts and product changes don't have the desired effect, things might look a little different a year hence.