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Sony Third Quarter Profits Up By a Third, Reach $1 Billion

Sony Corporation revealed that it had achieved $1 billion of net profits for for the three months to end December, representing the third quarter of its 2015-2016 financial year. That was achieved on unchanged revenue of $21.5 billion.

The group’s motion pictures division, which includes Sony Pictures Entertainment and its TV channels business, enjoyed a tripling of profits, to $170 million. The business segment was helped by the theatrical release of James Bond franchise film “Spectre.”

Revenues in the motion picture sector were up 27% at $2.18 billion. Aside from “Spectre” which earned $197 million in North America and a further $654 million internationally, SPE released three other movies in the quarter: “Goosebumps” ($119 million globally,) “The Night Before” ($51 million worldwide,) and “Christmas Day release “Concussion,” which earned $17 million all within North America, by the period end.

Sony said that its margins in the motion picture area improved due to “a reduction in incentive compensation” as well as insurance recoveries relating to losses incurred from the 2014 cyber-attack on SPE’s network and infrastructure.

For the full year, which runs to March 2016, Sony left its forecasts unchanged. It foresees revenues dipping by close to 3% when expressed in Japanese Yen. And it predicts a swing from losses of JPY126 billion in 2014-15 to profits of JPY140 billion ($1.18 billion.)

Sony also left unchanged its full year forecast for the motion pictures division – a reduced profit of $294 million (compared with a profit of $492 million in 2014-15.) Notwithstanding the third quarter profit, for the first nine months of the financial year the pictures division has so far recorded a loss of $116 million.

For the current quarter, SPE has five theatrical releases: “The 5th Wave,” “Pride And Prejudice And Zombies,” “Risen,” “The Brothers Grimsby,” and “Miracles From Heaven.”

Earlier this week Sony had announced that it was paying $212 million for Israeli mobile chip designer Altair Semiconductor.

In Friday afternoon trade on the Tokyo Stock Exchange prior to the results announcement Sony shares were up by more 3%. That was in line with the wider Tokyo stock market. Earlier in the day the Bank of Japan, the country’s central bank, announced a shift to negative interest rates. That pushed the Nikkei share index up by 3% and the Japanese Yen down by 2%. Shortly after the results statement Sony shares were up 6.1% in Tokyo at JPY2523 each.

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