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Sony’s Profit Soars on PlayStation Strength

TOKYO—

Sony
Corp.


SNE 3.23%

reported another strong quarter of earnings, buoyed by stable sales of electronics hardware, strength in its PlayStation videogame business and demand for smartphone camera components.

For the April-June period, the Japanese electronics and entertainment conglomerate reported net profit of ¥226.4 billion ($2.04 billion) on ¥1.95 trillion ($17.55 billion) in revenue, compared with net profit of ¥80.9 billion on ¥1.86 trillion in revenue in the same quarter last year.

Sony’s fiscal first-quarter earnings were also lifted by the sale of part of its stake in Spotify Technology SA. Its operating profit rose to ¥195 billion from ¥157.6 billion a year earlier.

The results suggest that Sony’s new chief executive,

Kenichiro Yoshida,

remains on track to maintain high profit levels.

Sony posted record operating profit for the fiscal year ended March, and Mr. Yoshida has said that the company would focus on keeping the level stable.

During the first quarter, all of Sony’s units, except movies and smartphones, recorded operating profits, with the PlayStation business posting the highest, at ¥83.5 billion. Its semiconductor unit also reported strong sales, thanks to robust demand for Sony’s image sensors, a core component in smartphone cameras.

Chief Financial Officer

Hiroki Totoki

said at a press conference that hit games, including “God of War,” released in April, pushed up both software and hardware sales in the PlayStation business, prompting Sony to upgrade its earnings forecasts.

For the fiscal year ending next March, Sony said it expects record net profit of ¥500 billion on ¥8.6 trillion in revenue, up from a forecast in April of ¥480 billion net profit on ¥8.3 trillion in revenue. Sony expects the PlayStation unit to generate ¥250 billion in operating profit, up from ¥190 billion in the prior forecast.

The company’s weak spot remains its smartphone business, which lags well behind

Apple
Inc.’s

iPhone and

Samsung Electronics
Co.’s

Galaxy series. Sony’s smartphone unit recorded an operating loss of ¥10.8 billion for the latest quarter. For the fiscal year, the company expects a loss of ¥30 billion but Mr. Totoki said the business division is being overhauled and warned further downgrades are possible.

Write to Takashi Mochizuki at [email protected]

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