Sony Film Unit Posts $68 Million Quarterly Profit

Spider-Man Homecoming 1 - Photofest- H 2017
Columbia Pictures/Photofest

Sony Corp. raised its full-year profit forecast to a record $5.6 billion while the pictures division enjoyed a strong quarter, driven by the more than $800 million global box office of 'Spider-Man: Homecoming.'

Sony Corp. on Tuesday reported operating income of $1.8 billion (¥204 billion) for the July to September quarter, up 346 percent from the same period last year. Sales grew 22 percent to $18.25 billion (?2.1 trillion), thanks to a strong performance in the games division and the weakening of the Japanese yen against the dollar and euro.

The conglomerate, led by CEO Kaz Hirai, raised its full-year profit forecast more than 20 percent to a record $5.6 billion (¥630 billion).

Sony's film unit contributed $68 million (¥7.7 billion) to quarterly earnings, up from $32 million last year, thanks to the strong global performance of Spider-Man: Homecoming and Baby Driver, as well as increased revenue from TV networks in India, including TEN Sports Network, acquired in February 2017. The same quarter in 2016 saw the poor performance of Ghostbusters reboot.

Sony maintained a full-year profit forecast of ?39 billion (currently $340 million) for the pictures division.

The games division posted higher sales and operating profits even as the flagship PlayStation 4 (PS4) console nears the end of its lifecycle. Sales grew 35 percent to $3.8 billion (?433 billion), due mainly to increased software sales but also higher hardware sales and the impact of foreign exchange, while operating income rose 188 percent to $485 million (?54.8 billion).

Music also continued to be profitable for Sony, with operating income almost doubling to $287 million (?3.25 billion) on sales of $1.83 billion (?206.6 billion), boosted by DJ Khaled’s Grateful album, strong sales of local artists in Japan and Fate/Grand Order, a mobile game popular in Japan.

Sony stock closed up 2.5 percent at ?4,425 ($39.11) in Tokyo trading, while the Nikkei 225 index closed slightly down.