PlayStation helps deliver surprise profit at Sony

Games division helps investors look past slowdown in image sensor sales

Sony posted a surprise quarterly profit as strength in its PlayStation division outweighed a slowdown in sales of image sensors.

The company reported net income of 21.2 billion yen (€184 million) in the quarter to the end of June, compared with the average analysts’ expectation for a 39 billion-yen loss.

The firm maintained its forecast for annual profit of 80 billion yen.


The strength in games is helping investors look past impact from the Kumamoto earthquakes, which shut the primary manufacturing site for image sensors that power digital cameras.


Their focus is shifting to how the company manages a global slowdown in smartphone sales that is hitting component sales, and whether it can sustain user growth at its games division before launching a virtual-reality platform and upgraded PlayStation consoles.

"Nothing short of fantastic, especially given that the market has been expecting a loss," Amir Anvarzadeh, Singapore-based head of Japanese equity sales at BGC Partners said.

“The big takeaway was the games business. Profit there more than doubled and that’s even before PlayStation launch in October, which will be a huge shot in the arm for hardware sales.”

Loss estimate lowered

Estimates for operating losses from the earthquakes were lowered to 80 billion yen for this fiscal year, from 115 billion yen.

Operating income for the quarter was 56.2 billion yen compared with estimates for a 3.1 billion yen loss.

The company trimmed its full-year sales forecast to 7.4 trillion yen from 7.8 trillion yen, partly because of currency impacts on businesses including games.

Shares rose 2.8 per cent to 3,282 yen in Tokyo before the earnings were released, extending this year's gain to 9.3 per cent. – (Bloomberg)