Japan’s Sony reported an 18.4 percent increase in first-quarter operating profit on Tuesday, beating market expectations for a strong performance in the image sensor business. The electronics firm posted an operating profit of JPY 230.93 billion ($ 2.1 billion) in the April-June quarter, up from JPY 195.01 billion a year earlier. This was above the consensus estimate of 173.61 billion yen from 8 analysts surveyed by Refinitive. The company has maintained a profit forecast of 810 billion yen for the year ended March.
Sony’s earnings report further states that it sold 3.2 million PlayStation 4 consoles in the second quarter. In addition to the total consoles sold at the end of Q1, 96.8 million, we see that the Sony PlayStation 4 has crossed the milestone of 100 million console units sold.
After a two-year record, Sony is now facing a headwind in the games business, the focal point of the company’s recent revival. The gaming business expects bigger spending to develop a next-generation console that analysts say will arrive in 2020, as the five-year-old PlayStation 4 draws to a close.
But the big gains in the image sensor business, driven by the demand for large-scale image sensors and multiple-lens camera systems for smartphones, outweigh the weaknesses of the gaming business.
The semiconductor business, which includes image sensors, gained JPY 49.5 billion, up from 29.1 billion JPY a year ago.
The gaming business made a profit of JPY 73.8 billion, down from JPY 83.5 billion a year ago.
For the most recent quarter, sales of Sony Pictures Entertainment, the company’s movie division, have benefited from high theatrical revenue from sales of Men in Black: International and Spider-Man: Far From Home. Its video game business has benefited from better sales on its PlayStation 4 game console, it said.
Sony’s music unit has also improved over the previous year due to the absence of EMI Music Publishing’s equity loss and higher sales with streaming revenue.
Profits from Spotify have lifted Sony’s bottom line in recent months.
Written with agency input