PlayStation game sales drive sharp rise in Sony profits

Kenichiro YoshidaSony's CEO unveils company's mid-term strategy for 2018-2020 Tokyo Japan- 22 May 2018 Kenichiro Yoshida, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sony Corp. attends an announcement event at its headquarters in Tokyo

CREDIT KIMIMASA MAYAMA EPA-EFE REX Shutterstock

Restructuring charges for the Sony Group are expected to be approximately 22 billion yen in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019, which remains unchanged from the April forecast, compared to 22.4 billion yen in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018.

Sales and operating revenues for the quarter rose to 1.95 trillion yen or $17.91 billion from prior year's 1.86 trillion yen.

The very slight reduction in terms of PlayStation 4 sold has not had an impact for what matters the future sales of the platform. It now expects a group net profit of 500 billion yen, up 1.9 percent from the previous year.

Sales of PlayStation 4 products were doing "better than expected" as a result of popular gaming titles, an analyst at Rakuten Securities in Tokyo Yasuo Imanaka said before the results were announced.

"The PS4 is passing its peak but the slide is not steep", Imanaka told AFP. Sony plans an interim dividend of JPY 15 per share.

The strong quarter should come as a relief to investors, who were caught flatfooted in April when new Chief Executive Officer Kenichiro Yoshida unveiled a dour full-year forecast, sending shares tumbling.

Sony's semiconductor division, which includes imaging sensors, posted profit of 29.1 billion yen, down from 55.4 billion yen a year earlier when earnings were boosted by the camera module business sale and insurance payouts. Nile's 40 percent-held affiliate owns EMI Music Publishing, which will be Sony's wholly owned unit in the future.

When the music streaming company went public, Sony sold about a fifth of its stake in Spotify, leading to a one-time gain of ¥53.9 billion (~$481.79 million).

In addition to these six games, Sony is also offering two free bonus games in August.

In a newly released announcement, Sony has presented the company's financial results for Q1 of 2018.

Sales of high-end TVs and headphones steadily gained but its mobile phone businesses suffered a quarterly loss. Sony hasn't said if or when it could sell its remaining holding.

Sony stocks have gained 13 per cent since the new CEO took office April 1.

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