TOKYO: Entertainment conglomerate Sony Corp has achieved a record net profit for its third quarter as its PlayStation 2 trounced the competition and movies like Spider-Man got a new life in DVD releases.
The world’s largest consumer electronics maker has also weathered what was supposed to have been a bleak Christmas season with brisk sales of digital cameras and flat-panel TVs, even as mainstay items like personal computers (PCs) and DVD players floundered.
Sony reported yesterday a surge in consolidated net profit to a record 125.43 billion yen for the key fiscal third quarter ended Dec 31, which usually brings in the bulk of full-year profits as consumers splurge on year-end gift-giving. The figure was up 95.9% on the year-earlier period.
And the company kept its earnings forecasts for the full year to March unchanged, eyeing a net profit of 180 billion yen (US$1.52bil) – more than 10 times the year-ago level – and a doubling of operating profit to 280 billion yen.
Sony also said it would inject an additional 150 million euros (US$162mil) into its struggling mobile phone joint venture with Ericsson, which would also put up 150 million euros.
The venture, plagued by persistent losses and delayed product launches, has seen its share of the global handset market shrink to about 5% while South Korean rival Samsung Electronics Co catapulted into the No. 3 spot.
Sony's third-quarter results also showed a 25.8% jump in operating profit to 199.52 billion yen, and a 1.2% rise in revenue to 2.31 trillion yen.
In the spotlight last quarter – as it has been all year – was Sony’s games division, with the PlayStation 2 hitting peak profit form and holding a comfortable lead over rival machines from Microsoft Corp and Nintendo Co.
Games generated 71.7 billion yen in operating profit for Sony in the October–December period, or 35% of the total. – Reuters