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Sony Corp. issued its first statement Friday outlining how its myriad business lines have been impacted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The conglomerate didn’t provide detailed estimates of the financial toll of the global health crisis, but summarized how its various business units have been affected, including its entertainment divisions.
In a statement, Sony said it is “striving to answer the needs of society and its customers to the best of its ability, and to minimize the impact of the virus on its business.”
In the motion pictures business, the company noted that “shutdowns of movie theaters around the world and various restrictions on people’s movement” have led “termination of theatrical runs and delays in release dates.” Sony also explained that it has suspended “all of its film and television production, resulting in future changes in theatrical release dates for some titles.” Like all of the Hollywood studios, Sony’s spring theatrical releases have been pushed into the summer, such as Peter Rabbit 2, which was bumped from a April 3 release to Aug. 7 in North America.
In a dash of bright news, Sony estimated that its gaming segment would experience “no material impact on this business for the current fiscal year.” The company’s current fiscal year ends on Tuesday, March 31, however. Looking ahead, the company warned: “Although no issues have emerged so far, Sony is carefully monitoring the risk of delays in production schedules for game software titles at both its first-party studios and partner studios, primarily in Europe and the U.S.”
The music business has been affected in several ways, Sony said, including “delays in new music releases, interruptions in supply chains for CDs and other physical music media, and a decrease in music licensing resulting from both lower advertising activity and delays in production for motion pictures and television productions.” Concerts and live events by Sony artists around the world have been canceled and postponed, including 100 percent of Sony-sponsored performances and events within Japan.
In order to keep employees safe and meet the mandates of local governments, Sony said it has shut down most of its offices in the U.S., Europe and Japan, instructing most employees to work from home.
Sony’s factories in the U.K. and Malaysia have been mothballed for periods extending into at least mid-April, in accordance with the instructions of local authorities. The company’s four major manufacturing plants in China were shut down for several weeks beginning in late January, but have since “restarted operating in increments” in response to the improving public health conditions there. “Supply chain issues remain, but operations are returning to the level they were before the spread of the virus,” Sony said.
Sony noted that it planned to release its financial results on April 30 for the fiscal year ending this month, but it warned that “the spread of COVID-19 could lead to delays in account closing procedures and other operations, making it difficult for Sony to proceed with this announcement as planned.”
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