Sony Film Unit Posts $51M Quarterly Profit, Down 50 Percent Year-Over-Year

Hiram Garcia
'Jumanji: The Next Level'

Overall revenue at Sony Corp. was up 3 percent at $22.6 billion, while operating profit was down 20 percent at $2.76 billion. Net profit for the October-to-December quarter was down 46 percent to $2.1 billion.

Sony's film unit recorded a $51 million (6.2 billion yen) profit for the October-to-December quarter, down from $107 million in the same quarter the previous year. Sales for the division were down 12 percent to $2.17 billion.

Jumanji: The Next Level, which earned more than $750 million globally, contributed to profits, though its December release dates means around a third of that will be included in the current quarter's figures. Charlie's Angels severely underperformed, taking just over $70 million at the global box office, hitting the division's bottom line.

The surprise success of Venom, which took more than $855 million worldwide, boosted results for the same period the previous year.

For television, higher licensing revenue for Season 3 of The Crown was offset by an increase in production costs for new U.S. network shows. 

Sony left its full-year profit forecast at the pictures division unchanged at 70 billion yen, $643 million at current exchange rates. 

Overall revenue at Sony Corp. was up 3 percent at $22.6 billion, while operating profit was down 20 percent at $2.76 billion. Net profit for the October-to-December quarter was down 46 percent to $2.1 billion.

Foreign exchange rates negatively impacted most segments. 

PlayStation 4 console sales dropped from 8.1 million in the same quarter in 2018 to 6.1 million, while software sales fell slightly to 81 million units. This dragged down sales at the game division by 20 percent to $5.8 billion and profits down to $491 million.  

Sales at the music division were up slightly at $2 billion, but profit fell sharply due to the gain in the same period of the previous year from the consolidation of its stake in EMI Music Publishing. Best-selling artists included Harry Styles, Tool and Celine Dion.

The electronics division saw a fall in sales of 9 percent to $5.97 billion on lower television and mobile phone sales, but a growth in profit to $74 million thanks to lower costs at its mobile phone operations. 

The imaging and sensor business, which makes semiconductors for smartphones and other devices, continued to be a bright spot for Sony, registering sales up 29 percent to $2.7 billion and profits up sharply to $690 million.

Activist investor Daniel Loeb is once again putting pressure on Sony Corp. to spin off its entertainment and semiconductor businesses, despite the rise in Sony's share price over the last year.

Sony stock was up slightly at 7,700 yen ($70.82) in Tokyo trading late Tuesday afternoon, before the earnings announcement. It is up more than 50 percent on this time last year.