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Sony chairman promises 'shift to profitable growth'

TOKYO -- Sony Corp. chairman Howard Stringer yesterday promised to shift the struggling electronics giant from recovery to growth and to make the PlayStation 3 a profit driver despite its bungled rollout.

But investors at the annual shareholder meeting in Tokyo remained skeptical of an imminent turnaround, pressing Stringer for a clear strategy on how he intended to recoup losses at the video games unit and catch up to rivals like Apple Inc. in portable music players.

"We will shift Sony from recovery to profitable growth," Stringer told about 7,000 shareholders, saying Sony's integrated and global approach to electronics, games, and entertainment made it a "dominant company" in the digital age.

Stringer, the first non-Japanese to head Sony, played down his British-American dual citizenship and emphasized his commitment to reviving the company's international prowess.

Other Sony executives said the company's key electronics sector was regaining its health on booming flat-panel TV and digital camera sales. The company maintained its forecast for record fiscal year earnings.

The bullish tone signals that Sony may finally be rebounding from a host of recent mishaps, including a massive battery recall that widened recent losses.

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