For years, Sony’s gaming division helped offset research expenses and struggles elsewhere in the company. Now, with the Playstation 3 platform aimed toward the future (at the expense of today), the other divisions are having to carry gaming financially. So far, it looks like they’re up to the task.
Amidst an earnings season filled with ups and downs, Sony announced earnings yesterday that were, in many ways, better than expected. Sales were up 13% to $16.4b. Operating profits rose dramatically to $824m, up 77% over last year.
Currency factors, notably a weak yen, also contributed to the higher earnings rates, Sony said in a statement.
With the release of Spiderman 3, the movie division had a solid quarter. During its opening weekend in North America, the movie returned nearly $150m. Sony’s cell phone partnership with Ericsson also performed extremely well. In handsets the joint venture saw a 59% increase with sales of 24.9m units. Their joint share of the global market increased from 6% to 9%. Core electronics sales were up 11.6 percent with strong sell through for both LCD TV’s and digital cameras.
The gaming division, which loses money on every PS3 sold, lost $242m for the quarter but on a positive note, they forecast sales of the PS3 will reach 11m units globally for the fiscal year. Sales at the games unit were also up 61 percent despite tough competition from Nintendo (which is outselling the PS3 in the US by a factor of 2:1). 710k consoles were shipped during the quarter and 200 new titles and 180 download-only titles are expected to be available over the coming months. Projections are for the gaming division to return to profitability by the next fiscal year.
More detailed press coverage on Sony’s finances can be found at: