Sony hikes annual sales outlook on strong game, music performance

TOKYO, Nov 9, 2023 (AFP) – Japanese electronics titan Sony lifted its full-year net profit and sales forecasts on Thursday, citing strength in the company’s gaming, music and image-sensor sectors.

The company said it saw net profit hitting 880 billion yen ($5.8 billion) in the year to March 2024, up from the previous projection of 860 billion yen.

Annual sales were seen at 12.4 trillion yen, compared with a previous estimate of 12.2 trillion yen.

“Sales are expected to be higher than the August forecast mainly due to higher-than-expected sales in the Game & Network Services, Music and Imaging & Sensing Solutions segments,” Sony said in a financial statement.

A weaker yen helped boost the gaming and music sectors, with the latter also buoyed by “an increase in revenues from streaming services”, it said.

Gaming has consistently been one of Sony’s main driving forces, with the firm aiming to sell 25 million units of its new PlayStation 5.

While partially offset by an expected decrease in demand among automotive and industrial infrastructures, sales in the image-sensor sector were projected to be robust thanks to favourable foreign exchange rates, the firm added.

But Sony’s net profit for July-September sank 29 percent from a year earlier to 200 billion yen. For the six months to September, net profit dropped 23 percent year-on-year to 417 billion yen.

Despite growth in some sectors, the firm blamed recent strikes in Hollywood for dragging down the conglomerate’s movie performance.

The action caused “date changes for some theatrical releases and restrictions on promotional activities in motion pictures”, it said, forecasting “lower revenues” for films.

Industrial action by actors and screenwriters this year has seen work on numerous films and TV shows halted for months. However, writers have already come to an agreement with studios and actors on Wednesday also reached a tentative deal to return to filming.

Sony is “undergoing something of a rough patch”, Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Toyo Securities, told AFP ahead of results, citing the strike and lacklustre progress in PS5 sales.

“Sales of the CMOS image sensors seem fine, but overall, the situation doesn’t appear too good for Sony,” he said.

tmo/dan

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