Wed, Oct 31, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Sony’s first-half net profit almost doubles to record

AFP, TOKYO

Sony Corp yesterday announced that its six-month net profit had nearly doubled from last year to a record high and upgraded its annual forecasts, with games and movies leading the way.

The company said April-to-September net profit reached ¥399.4 billion (US$3.5 billion), up 88.7 percent from a year earlier and marking its best performance for the period.

Operating profit and sales were both up, with video games driving the good news, including blockbuster software titles such as God of War and Spider-Man.

Sony’s quality sensors for smartphone cameras saw explosive demand, becoming a major pillar of the firm’s revenue.

The movies and music segments also contributed to growing profits, although Sony’s cellphone business continued to struggle.

The robust six-month performance, with operating profit up 20.1 percent at ¥434.5 billion and sales rising 5.5 percent to ¥4.1 trillion, prompted Sony to upgrade its outlook for the second half.

It now forecasts an annual net profit of ¥705 billion, which would mark a new all-time high, along with annual operating profit of ¥870 billion and sales of ¥8.7 trillion. It had previously forecast a moderate slowdown.

“Various areas, including music as well as the game and network services field” are doing better than earlier thought, the firm said.

Foreign-exchange rates and strong sales of Sony’s paid membership game service also contributed to the optimistic annual expectations, the company said.

However, for the cellphone segment, Sony braced for more struggles, saying it expected to see a loss, despite attempts to cut costs.

NINTENDO

Separately, Nintendo Co yesterday said its first-half net profit jumped 25.4 percent year-on-year to US$574 million as blockbuster game titles helped boost demand for its popular Switch console.

The Kyoto-based game giant reported net profit for the six months to last month of ¥64.6 billion on sales of ¥388.9 billion, which were up 4 percent.

For the year to March, it maintained its optimistic annual target, expecting a net profit of ¥165 billion on sales of ¥1.2 trillion.

“Nintendo Switch hardware continued to be quite popular, reaching 5.07 million units sold” in the April-to-September period, it said.

Game software sales were driven by Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, which has sold well over 1 million copies since its release in May, while Mario Tennis Aces, released in June, has sold more than 2 million copies.

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