Boffo bow for Fox’s faux ‘Joe’

TOKYO — Strong record sales of overseas pop artists and a robust market for PlayStation videogame equipment helped Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. post a 168% gain in group net profit in the six-month period ended Sept. 30.

Sony Music said its group net profit for first half of Japan’s 1997 fiscal year hit 14.76 billion yen ($123 million). A year ago the figure was 5.5 billion yen for the period.

Sony Music, a division of Sony Corp., was hit hard by the loss in August of its top pop act, Dreams Come True. When the act left the label, the company’s stock plunged on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Sales of domestic artists are stagnant for the company, which still has a number of Japan’s top pop acts.

In the period, Sony Music posted a 14.2% gain in group net sales to 106.33 billion yen ($886 million).

Overseas acts such as Mariah Carey helped push up revenue for Sony Music.

Sales at the affiliated Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. also helped push up the earnings figures. Sales of PlayStation game consoles and software titles have been remarkably strong in Japan since the videogame was released in 1994.

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