Sony Pictures Posts $86 Million Quarterly Loss

Sony Studio Lot Gate Culver City - Getty - H 2016
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Sony Corp. reports earnings of $722 million, up 282 percent from the same period last year and a record quarterly result, as the company's turnaround continues to bear fruit.

Sony Pictures posted a loss of $86 million for the fiscal first quarter, which ran April to June, compared to a $103 million loss in the same period last year, the company announced Tuesday.

Revenue was up 12.3 percent, or 9 percent on a dollar basis, helped by higher television production sales, particularly for The Last Tycoon and Better Call Saul, as well as higher advertising revenue in India. But these were offset by lower theatrical revenue and advertising costs for Spider-Man: Homecoming.

The success of Spider-Man: Homecoming did not boost the quarterly figures, as it was released in July, just after the company's fiscal first quarter finished.

Sony forecasts full-year revenue for the film division of ?1,020 billion ($9.25 billion at current exchange rates) and operating profit of ?39 billion ($354 million).

"Tony Vinciquerra took over as head of Sony Pictures on June 1, and he has experience managing various entertainment businesses and has accomplished much in his career. He is currently assessing all aspects of the business," Sony CFO Kenichiro Yoshida said during the earnings press conference at Sony's Tokyo headquarters.

Sales at Sony Music rose 18.8 percent and profit from the division jumped 58 percent to $226 million as a stronger streaming market and albums from Harry Styles and The Chainsmokers boosted the performance.

Sales of the PlayStation 4 fell from 3.5 million units last year to 3.3 million units in the latest quarter, with the console now in its fourth year. Profit at the division more than halved to $160 million, despite the success of the virtual reality PlayStation VR headset, pushed down by a price cut for the PS4 and a fall in revenue from profitable in-house games. Nevertheless, Sony raised its full-year profit prediction for the division by $90 million.

With consumer electronics, sensors and mobile phones also delivering profits, Sony Corp. posted group-wide earnings of $722 million (?80.9 billion), up 282 percent over the same period last year and a record quarterly result.

"Sony was profitable 20 years ago and again 10 years ago, only to fall back into the red," said Yoshida. "It's important for management to keep a sense of urgency and tension to maintain profitability."