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Sony Keeps Targets for PS3 Shipments

Sony said on Thursday it sees no need to change its target to ship 2 million units of its PlayStation 3 game console worldwide by the end of December and 6 million by the end of next March.

Sony has delayed the European launch of the PS3 to March 2007 due to a glitch in blue laser diodes, raising concerns that the electronics conglomerate could miss its original shipment targets.

"It is true that it took us sometime to bring the PS3 to mass production as blue laser availability worked as a bottleneck, but production has reached a certain level and judging from that level, 2 million and 6 million are within our reach," Sony President Ryoji Chubachi told reporters.

Sony launched the PS3 in November, fighting head-on with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo Co.'s Wii.

Chubachi also said Sony plans to stick to its target to achieve a 5% operating profit margin for the year starting next April.

That would be up sharply from an expected 0.6% margin for the current business year to March.

He added that there is no change in its estimate that the recall of batteries it supplied for notebook computers will cost 51.2 billion yen ($435.5 million).

Shares in Sony were up 1.8% at 4,970 yen, outperforming a 0.45% rise in the benchmark Nikkei average