Sony slashes full-year profit forecast by 40%

The cut came as Sony said its loss in the July-to-September quarter widened 25% from a year ago to 19.3bn yen.

One of the big drags on its earnings was its Pictures division which made a loss due to some high profile flops.

The division, which also includes production of movies as well as TV shows, recorded an operating loss of 17.8bn yen during the period, compared to an operating profit of 7.9bn a year earlier.

“The current quarter reflects the theatrical underperformance of White House Down, while the previous fiscal year included the strong theatrical performance of the Amazing Spider-Man,” the firm said in a statement.

There was also a decline in television licensing revenue due to fewer movies being licensed year-on-year.

Sony has also been hurt by increased competition and slowing global demand for TVs.

A decline in TV prices has further hurt the profitability of the sector.

Sony’s TV division posted an operating loss of 9.3bn yen for the three months to the end of September.

At the same time, its gaming division which makes the PlayStation consoles also reported an operating loss during the period.

The firm said that the division’s earnings were hurt after it cut the price of its PlayStation Vita consoles.

Sony cut the prices of the original PS Vita earlier this year in a bid to boost sales, which have been affected by an increasing number of users playing games on their smartphones and tablet PCs.

Sony’s Game division made an operating loss of 800m yen during the period, compared to an operating profit of 2.3bn yen during the same quarter a last year.

Sony’s results are in contrast to rivals Sharp and Panasonic who reported profits for the July-to-September quarter.

Panasonic reported a net profit of 61.5bn yen for the period, reversing a loss of 698bn yen during the same period a year ago.

The firm said that its steps to exit unprofitable businesses, improved efficiency, as well as the continued weakness of the yen had a positive impact on its sales and earnings.

“Yen depreciation also contributed to overall sales increase,” the company said in a statement.

The Japanese currency has weakened nearly 25% over the past year, making Japanese goods more affordable to foreign buyers. A weak currency also boosts profits of exporters when they repatriate their foreign earnings back home.

Panasonic also raised its full-year profit forecast. It now expects to make an operating profit of 270bn yen in the current financial year, up from its earlier projection of 250bn yen.

Meanwhile, Sharp reported a net profit of 13.6bn yen for the quarter, reversing a loss of 17.9bn yen in the previous three months.

Sharp, which has struggled in recent times, said that it had benefited from its efforts to cut its costs and focus on high growth areas such as manufacture of solar cells.

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