×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sony Pictures Profits Rise to $489 Million

Profits at Sony Pictures rose to $489 million for the financial year running to the end of March 2019. That compares with $376 million in the previous financial year.

The pictures division result was achieved despite a fall in revenue. That dropped from $9.13 billion in the preceding financial year to $8.87 billion in the year to March 2019. Analysis showed revenues fractionally down at motion pictures, media networks and television productions.

The Japanese conglomerate, which stretches from electronics to music, film and games entertainment, reported its full-year financial data Friday. Group revenues hit $78.1 billion. Net profits hit $6.38 billion. In local currency terms, income increased by 86% from JPY379 billion to JPY707 billion.

For the current year, Sony is forecasting a further increase in pictures division profits. These are set to rise by 19%, to $580 million, boosted by a return to revenue growth.

In 2017-18, Sony’s music division (reported in Japanese yen) saw essentially flat sales of JPY807 billion ($7.20 billion). Profits almost doubled to JPY233 billion ($2.08 billion), reflecting the consolidation of EMI. For the current year, profits are forecast to tumble to JPY135 billion ($1.20 billion).

Games and network services (reported in yen) saw a 19% increase in sales from JPY1.94 trillion ($17.3 billion) to JPY2.31 trillion ($20.6 billion). Profits jumped even faster, rising from JPY178 billion ($1.59 billion) to JPY311 billion ($2.78 billion), reflecting increases in games software sales and revenue from PlayStation Plus. There was a decrease in sales of PlayStation4 hardware.

Sony recently teased news of a fifth generation of its PlayStation entertainment console. It is expected to include ray tracing technology and a solid state hard drive to allow games to load quicker. A commercial launch is not expected during this calendar year. For the current financial year, development costs of the new console and waning PS4 sales are forecast to shrink divisional profits back to JPY280 billion ($2.5 billion).

Earlier this month it was revealed that activist investor Dan Loeb of Third Point Capital had amassed a share stake, and may agitate for strategic change at the group. The size of the stake is not known.

Loeb made a similar attempt six years ago, arguing that the film business was “poorly managed” and pressing Sony to sell or spin off its entertainment businesses. Sony responded by insisting that owning 100% of its entertainment business is fundamental to its strategy.

In the intervening period, Sony has seen its film-business profitability improve, and it has expanded its music business through acquisition. Group profits hit a record in 2017-18 and again in 2018-19. And Sony’s top management has changed, with the former finance director Kenichiro Yoshida now group CEO.

Sony’s Tokyo-traded shares peaked at JPY6,996 at the end of September 2018. But they tumbled to JPY4,630 in March, just before Loeb’s return. Prior to Friday’s results announcement, made after the stock market close, Sony’s shares stood at JPY5,212.

Loeb’s name did not come up during the conference call between Sony management and financial analysts that followed the earnings announcement.

More Biz

  • Sammy Shore Dead: Comedy Store Co-Founder

    Sammy Shore, Co-Founder of The Comedy Store, Dies at 92

    Sammy Shore, the well-known stand-up comedian who co-founded The Comedy Store in Hollywood, died in Las Vegas, Nev. from natural causes. He was 92. Shore founded The Comedy Store with writing partner Rudy Deluca on April 7, 1972. His ex-wife, Mitzi Shore, took ownership of the club in the divorce settlement, and the venue went [...]

  • Outlander Season 4 Finale

    What CBS' Pursuit of Starz Means for CBS, Lionsgate

    CBS’ effort to buy pay TV service Starz from Lionsgate seems on the surface to be a head scratcher. CBS has told Wall Street for years that it has prospered because it brings only two must-have services to the table in negotiations with MVPDs, allowing the Eye to drive a hard bargain. Why would CBS [...]

  • Dana Brunetti

    Dana Brunetti Sues to Block Season 2 of 'Manhunt'

    Producer Dana Brunetti filed suit on Friday seeking to block the second season of the anthology series “Manhunt,” which is set to dramatize the bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Brunetti sued Lionsgate, the production company, as well as Discovery Communications and Charter Communications. Brunetti, the producer of “Fifty Shades of Grey” and many other [...]

  • PledgeMusic Sends Message to Artists, Offers

    PledgeMusic Sends Message to Artists, Offers Data From Platform

    PledgeMusic, the direct-to-fan marketplace that is headed into administration (the British equivalent of bankruptcy), today posted a note to artists and fans, offering the ability for artists to download their data from the platform. A source tells Variety that more information will be coming once an administrator is named — when that happens, at some [...]

  • Spanish actress and member of the

    AIG and AS Talents Announce Agency Tie-Up (EXCLUSIVE)

    David Unger’s talent, management and branding venture, Artist International Group, has partnered with AS Talents in France, which represents leading European performers Jean Reno, Christian Clavier, Elza Zylberstein and Rossy de Palma. Paris-based AS Talents is headed by Alexandra Schamis. The move, announced Friday on the sidelines of the Cannes Film Festival, is the latest [...]

  • I.M. Pei dead

    I.M. Pei, Architect of CAA Building and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Dies at 102

    I.M. Pei, the architect behind the CAA building in Beverly Hills and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, died on Thursday. He was 102. One of the most famous architects of his time, Pei designed numerous famous buildings around the world before retiring in 1990. Born in China, he moved to the United States [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content