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Sony’s profit surges on healthy film, game, music growth

TOKYO (AP) – Sony’s fiscal fourth quarter surged 67 per cent to JPY111.1 billion (USD852.7 million) from the previous year, as the Japanese entertainment and electronics company racked up profits in video game and movie divisions.

Tokyo-based Sony Corp’s January-March quarterly sales edged up one per cent to 2.26 trillion yen (USD17 billion), as its music operations also did well, boosted by the popularity of streaming services, the company said yesterday.

For the full fiscal year ended in March, Sony racked up a profit of JPY882 billion (USD6.8 billion), down 14 per cent despite the success of Spider-Man: No Way Home, which contributed to theatrical revenue.

Sales in its TV division also grew from the licensing income of Seinfeld and other titles, Sony said.

Sony CFO Hiroki Totoki told reporters income from movie theatres was returning lately to levels recorded prior to the coronavirus pandemic, which brought on restrictions around the world to curb the spread of infections.

By reshaping its product lineup, profits improved in TVs and digital cameras, overcoming supply challenges that came from disruptions brought on by COVID-19, Totoki said.

A woman at the headquarters of Sony Corp. PHOTO: AP

But several months may be needed to get over the new supply problems stemming from the recent restrictions in China, he added.

The reversal of a previous write-down of deferred tax assets last fiscal year also helped send the latest annual profit lower due to the absence of the tax-reduction perk.

Sales for the fiscal year through March 2023 are expected to benefit from the declining yen that will come on top of the expected growth in content sales.

The dollar was trading at JPY116, up from nearly JPY106 the previous year, according to Sony.

Sales were also boosted by Sony’s acquisition of Crunchyroll, which streams animation. Sony has also recently been banking on the metaverse, the immersive virtual world, where it faces rivals like Facebook, or Meta.

Sony, which also makes TVs and portable digital music players, expects to post a profit of JPY830 billion (USD6.4 billion) for the fiscal year through March 2023.

Meanwhile, Nintendo’s profit for the fiscal year ended in March was little changed from the previous year, edging down 0.6 per cent to JPY477.7 billion (USD3.7 billion), the Japanese video game maker behind the Super Mario and Pokemon franchises said yesterday.

Sales for the fiscal year fell 3.6 per cent to JPY1.7 trillion (USD13 billion) as fewer Nintendo Switch machines were sold, and IP income from mobile content also declined, according to Kyoto-based Nintendo Co.

But players around the world of the Nintendo Switch, including game fans in South America as well as Asia, now totalled some 102 million people, up from 87 million people the previous fiscal year, Nintendo said.

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