Sony Net Profit Jumps 53.3% In Q1 But Virus Clouds Annual Outlook

Tokyo, Aug 4 (AFP/APP): Sony said Tuesday its net profit surged 53.3 percent in the first quarter, but warned annual profits were likely to see double-digit falls as the coronavirus pandemic continues to cloud the forecast.

The PlayStation giant said net profit for the April-June quarter reached 233.25 billion yen ($2.2 billion), with “significant increases” in its game and network services and financial services segments.

The surge was also helped by a strong performance in equities, which pushed up the firm’s pre-tax income. Operating profit, however, slipped 1.1 percent to 228.39 billion yen on sales of 1.97 trillion yen, up 2.2 percent.

While global demand for games downloads spiked this year as lockdowns forced people to stay at home, the pandemic has brought a string of negative factors for Sony, including a slump in manufacturing, music event cancellations and movie theatre shutdowns.

“Lockdowns have continued affecting Sony’s production lines while hitting hard sales of its electronics products and at theatre-release movies,” Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Research Institute in Tokyo, told AFP ahead of the results.

“It was quite a tough quarter for Sony, as negative factors outnumbered positive ones. Sony is still expected to recover gradually for the rest of the fiscal year but on the condition that a major second wave of the pandemic doesn’t emerge.” If there is a serious resurgence of the virus, “it will be a different story,” Yasuda warned.

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