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Profits slip at Japan’s Sony

TOKYO (AP) – Sony’s profit slipped 29 per cent from a year earlier in July-September, as damage from a strike in the movie sector offset gains from a favourable exchange rate, the Japanese electronics and entertainment company said Thursday.

Tokyo-based Sony Corp’s quarterly profit totalled JPY200 billion (USD1.3 billion), down from JPY282 billion a year earlier.

Quarterly sales rose 11 per cent to JPY2.7 trillion (USD18 billion), with gains in video games, image sensor and music operations and weakness in its financial and entertainment technology services.

The prolonged strike by actors and screenwriters took a toll on Sony’s movie business. A deal was reached late Wednesday, ending the longest strike ever for film and television actors.

Sony executives welcomed the deal but cautioned against expecting an instant recovery in profit because marketing costs were expected to rise once more movies start moving through the pipeline for theatrical releases.

The three-year contract still must be approved by the board of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and its members in coming days. But union leaders declared the strike was over at 12:01am Thursday.

Some of the damage from the strike was offset by a favourable exchange rate, according to Sony, which makes PlayStation game machines, Spider-Man movies and Aibo robotic dogs.

The Japanese yen has been declining lately, trading at about 150 yen to the dollar, and a weak yen is a plus for exporters like Sony when they repatriate their overseas earnings.

Sony said it has sold 40 million PlayStation 5 video game consoles so far. In its music unit, among the recent top-earning releases were “Utopia” by Travis Scott, the “SOS” album by SZA and “Harry’s House” from Harry Styles.

Sony raised its full year profit forecast to JPY880 billion (USD5.8 billion) from an earlier projection for an JPY860 billion (USD5.7 billion) profit. That’s lower than the profit recorded the previous year at JPY1 trillion.

The logo of Sony is seen at its showroom in Tokyo on July 29, 2022. PHOTO: AP