Japanese electronics giant Sony reported $3.78 billion of net profit in the three months to December, the third quarter of its financial year, which runs to the end of March. Revenues amounted to $21.3 billion.
The company’s pictures division, which spans film and TV, content and channels, reported improved profits of $102 million, up from $92 million in the same period last year (JPY11.6 billion, compared with JPY10.5 billion). Sales increased by 6% in dollar terms to $2.45 billion (JPY276 billion).
Operating profits at the music division leaped to $1.35 billion (JPY147 billion) from $361 million (JPY39.3 billion), though revenues dipped 9% to $1.92 billion (JPY209 billion).
Prior to the results, financial analysts were expecting earnings per share of $1.90, according to mean forecasts compiled by Zacks Consensus Estimate. The company reported a figure strongly above that at $2.93 per share.
The analysts’ expectations were for profits growth in the pictures division, driven by strong theatrical performances in the past few months. Similarly, the music division was expected to benefit from good streaming performances and corporate changes. In November, subsidiary Sony Corporation of America bought out the outstanding 60% stake in EMI Music Publishing. The move increased the number of music titles controlled by Sony from 2.3 million to 4.36 million (using March 2018 catalogs).
Sony said that the pictures division had indeed been boosted by the strong box office performance of “Venom” in particular and higher sales of catalog TV content. Theatrical revenues attributable to the corporation were $532 million in the quarter, compared to $302 million in the third quarter last year, and to $369 million in the previous three months.
Pictures division profitability was mitigated by the cost of restructuring its channels portfolio. Sony left its full-year forecast for the division unchanged. It is forecasting $459 million (JPY50 billion) of operating income on $9.17 billion of revenue (JPY1 trillion).
Revenues at the music division were crimped by decreases in recorded music sales and visual media and platform sales (mobile games), but lifted by the consolidation of EMI. The significant increase in the operating income reflected a $1.06 billion “re-measurement gain” resulting from the consolidation of EMI. Again, the company left its forecast for the division’s full-year outcome unchanged, at operating profits of $2.11 billion (JPY230 bilion) on revenues of $7.5 billion (JPY820 billion).
The top five recorded music projects in the quarter were Travis Scott (“Astroworld”), Bob Dylan (“More Blood, More Tracks: The Bootleg Series vol. 14”), George Ezra (“Staying at Tamara’s”), Little Mix (“LM5”), and Pentatonix (“Christmas is Here!”).
The results were announced after the close of the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Friday. At the close of business, Sony shares were valued at JPY5,499 apiece. In pre-market trading in New York, where the shares are also listed, the stock appeared headed for a 3% gain.
(Exchange rate $1 = JPY109)
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