Sony Film Unit Posts $209 Million Quarterly Profit

Hotel Transylvania 3 Still - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment

Sony Corp. raised its full-year profit forecast to $8.65 billion while the pictures division enjoyed a strong quarter, thanks to 'Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation' and a new accounting standard.

Sony Pictures posted a profit of $209 million for the July to September quarter, Sony Corp. announced in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Sony's film unit contributed $209 million (¥23.5 billion) to quarterly earnings, compared with $68 million last year, thanks to the strong global box office of Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, which pulled in $520 million, and The Equalizer 2, which took around $190 million worldwide; higher television licensing revenues from Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Peter Rabbit; and a new accounting standard. Revenue was down 3 percent on the same quarter last year, which was boosted by Spider-Man: Homecoming and Baby Driver.

Venom, which has already passed the half-billion-dollar mark at the global box office, was released at the beginning of this month, after the quarter had closed.

Sony raised the full-year revenue forecast for the film division to ?1,000 billion ($8.88 billion at current exchange rates) and operating profit of ?50 billion ($444 million).

Operating income at the gaming division was up 36 percent to $804 million (?90.6 billion), on sales up 27 percent to $4.88 billion as software sales for the PlayStation 4 (PS4) continued to grow. Last month's Spider-Man PS4 exclusive game set a sales record for an in-house title.

Profits at the music division fell slightly to $280 million (?31.5 billion), as revenues from physical and downloaded music fell and streaming revenue grew. However, Sony upped its full-year forecast for the division due to the consolidation of EMI and the continued success of Fate/Grand Order, a mobile game from Sony Music Japan.

The mobile phone division continued to weigh on Sony's results, with a bigger full-year loss forecast than its prediction in July.

Semiconductors and financial services again contributed strongly to profitability at the conglomerate.

Overall revenue at Sony Corp. was up 6 percent, at $19.58 billion, compared with the same period last year, with earnings up 32 percent to $1.55 billion, thanks to strong performances in the gaming and pictures divisions.

Sony stock closed up 1 percent at ?5,862 ($52) in Tokyo trading, while the Nikkei 225 index was up 1.4 percent. Sony stock is up around 35 percent on this time last year.

More to come…