Sony Film Unit Posts $107M Quarterly Profit

Venom - Still 8 - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT Publicity- H 2018
Courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment

The surprise success of 'Venom,' which took more than $855 million worldwide, boosted results at the pictures division.

Sony's film unit recorded a $107 million (11.6 billion yen) profit for the October-to-December quarter, up from $93 million in the same quarter the previous year.

Sony Pictures' bottom line was lifted by Venom, which took $855 million globally and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which took $225 million, as well as higher television licensing revenue from its program catalogue. Theatrical revenue in the quarter was $532 million, up from $302 million in the same quarter a year ago.

Revenue at the film division rose was $2.54 billion (278 billion yen) for the latest quarter, compared with $2.37 billion (260 billion yen) in the year-ago quarter.

The forecast for full-year profits at the pictures division was unchanged at $459 million (50 billion yen).

Overall quarterly revenue at Sony Corp. was down 10 percent to $21.3 billion in dollar terms, while operating profit was up 7 percent to $3.39 billion. Net profit for the quarter jumped 45 percent to $3.8 billion (?429 billion).

Sony Corp. adjusted its full-year to March 2019 sales forecast downward by $1.84 billion to $78 billion (?8.5 trillion), left its operating profit forecast unchanged, but lifted its full-year net profit forecast by 18 percent to $7.67 billion (?835 billion).

The entertainment to electronics group's quarterly revenue was boosted by the continuing strong performance of PlayStation 4 (PS4) in-house exclusive games like Marvel's Spider-Man, as well as growing streaming sales and publishing income in its music division.

Although sales in its game division were up 10 percent, profit fell by a similar proportion due to the impact of currency fluctuations and lower sales of the PS4 console and discounts offered during the holiday season. Sony sold 8.1 million consoles in the quarter, down from 9 million the previous year, though still a solid performance for a console in its sixth year on the market. Software sales were up slightly, while subscribers to its PlayStation Plus platform grew nearly 5 million to 36.3 million over the last year. 

In the music division, sales were down 4 percent, but profit more than tripled to $1.35 billion thanks to a gain resulting from the consolidation of its stake in EMI Music Publishing. Best-selling albums included releases by Travis Scott, Bob Dylan and George Ezra.

The mobile, semiconductor and financial services divisions all saw falls in sales and profitability.

Sony stock was up slightly at ?5,485 ($50.35) in late-afternoon trading in Tokyo, having given up some of the gains it made in the morning session. The Nikkei 225 index finished the day almost where it began.