Sony’s profit up as peo­ple stay home and play video games

Times Colonist - - Business - YURI KAGEYAMA

TOKYO — Ja­panese elec­tron­ics and en­ter­tain­ment com­pany Sony Corp. said Tues­day its April-June profit jumped 53 per cent as its video game and other online busi­nesses thrived with peo­ple stay­ing home due to the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

Tokyo-based Sony re­ported a 233 bil­lion yen ($2.9 bil­lion Cdn) profit for the last quar­ter, up from 152 bil­lion yen the year be­fore.

Sony warned that its movies di­vi­sion would likely suf­fer for two or three years due to de­lays in film projects and lim­its to theatre seat­ing be­cause of the pan­demic.

Con­sumer de­mand for elec­tron­ics products has also plunged, in­clud­ing sales of dig­i­tal cam­eras, TVs and other gad­gets, according to Sony.

Some fac­to­ries in China and Malaysia were tem­po­rar­ily shut down and an in­abil­ity for some em­ploy­ees to travel also was a hin­drance, the com­pany said.

Sony’s quar­terly sales edged up 2 per cent to 1.97 tril­lion yen.

This year, Sony un­veiled a pro­to­type of an elec­tric car, high­light­ing the reach of con­sumer elec­tron­ics into new sec­tors in the dig­i­tal age.

The com­pany is pro­ject­ing a 510 bil­lion yen profit for the fis­cal year that ends in March 2021, down 12 per cent from the pre­vi­ous fis­cal year.

Sony said mu­sic stream­ing was do­ing well, as peo­ple stayed home due to the pan­demic, but other parts of its mu­sic business have suf­fered. Online video con­tent also is do­ing well, it said.

Video game op­er­a­tions got a big lift from peo­ple sign­ing on to net­work ser­vices. There are now 45 mil­lion PlayS­ta­tion Plus sub­scribers, a pay­ing online mem­ber­ship for games, and Sony is planning a ma­jor upgrade with the PlayS­ta­tion 5 to go on sale later this year.

Sony’s fi­nan­cial ser­vices sec­tor did well for the quar­ter on in­creased rev­enue for its in­sur­ance sec­tor and online bank­ing business.

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