Sony Corp Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai said on Wednesday the company would consider options for its smartphone unit if it failed to turn a profit in the next business year.

But he told a group of reporters that if the unit, which makes Xperia-branded handsets, was profitable as planned in the year starting next April, Sony would continue with the business.

The company in July lowered its forecast for its mobile communications unit to an operating loss of 60 billion yen in the current fiscal year from an earlier estimate of a 39 billion yen loss.

(Reporting by Reiji Murai; Writing by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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