Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sony H1 net profit leaps 104%

Sony H1 net profit leaps 104%

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Japan’s Sony has reported that its net profit doubled in the April-September period. AFP

Sony H1 net profit leaps 104%

Sony on Wednesday said net profit doubled in the April-September period and revised up its full-year forecast, citing growth in key sectors including gaming, which has been boosted by coronavirus lockdowns worldwide.

The results beat analyst expectations and came as the Japanese tech giant gears up to launch its much-anticipated PlayStation 5 console next month, setting up a holiday season head-to-head with the new Xbox.

The gaming sector has been one of the few beneficiaries of the pandemic, with people forced indoors sending title downloads and streaming soaring.

Sony said net profit leaped 103.8 per cent to 692.89 billion yen ($6.65 billion) for the first half, and forecast annual net profits of 800 billion yen – up from an earlier 510 billion yen forecast.

The first-half results were due in part to financial factors, including positive tax benefits, but also reflected a strong performance in games and network services, music streaming and financial services.

Sony’s chief financial officer Hiroko Totoki told reporters: “Enhanced restrictions on exports to China by the US government are negatively impacting our business in the imaging and sensing sector, while our gaming segment is benefiting from demand for stay-at-home activities.”

Game-playing hours among PlayStation users peaked in April, but demand for games “will continue through the last half of the year”, he added.

Strong performance in the game and music sectors also drove the upwards revision in the full-year net profit forecast, with Sony saying it was seeing “higher-than-expected sales of games software, primarily add-on content” and an increase in music-streaming revenues.

It was not all good news, however, with decreasing sales of sensors for mobile products only partially offset by an increase in sales of sensors for digital cameras.

The firm’s movie unit has also struggled as the pandemic keeps cinemas around the world shuttered and delays new releases.

Totoki said: “There are signs of recovery, but theatres are still closed in major US cities.

“It’s possible revenue recovery will be delayed because of fierce competition caused by busy movie release schedules even after movie theatres reopen.”

Analysts said the pandemic was having a varied impact on the different segments that make up Sony’s business.

Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Research Institute in Tokyo, told AFP: “The impact of the coronavirus on Sony’s entire business was smaller than expected but is still weighing on Sony’s earnings.

“Image sensors continued contributing to its entire earnings in the first half. But US sanctions against Huawei are likely to affect shipments of image sensors for Huawei’s smartphones in the future,” he said.

Sony has high hopes for its eagerly-awaited new console, which launches from November 12 – two days after Microsoft’s rival next-gen Xbox Series X.

The PS4 has outsold the Xbox One by more than two to one, and Sony is hoping new games including Final Fantasy XVI, Hogwarts Legacy and Spider-Man Morales will help it stay in the lead.

Expectations for the PS5 are extremely high, Yasuda said, warning that disappointment could affect share prices.

“Whether PS5 will be a success or not will have a great impact on Sony’s entire business . . . but we need to confirm how strong the demand for PS5 will be. That has yet to be seen,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Cambodia at ‘most critical moment’, Hun Sen warns

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the first community transmission of Covid-19 in Cambodia has led the country to the “most critical moment” that warranted urgent, large-scale operations to contain the pandemic. Hun Sen, who confirmed the first local transmission on November 28, said the source of

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there