With films like The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and 22 Jump Street leading a recovery in its entertaiment division, Sony posted a surprise profit in revealing its first-quarter results this morning in Tokyo. For the whole of the company, net income rose to $260M or 26.8B yen versus 3.1B yen in the comparable 2013 quarter. Operating income hit 69.8B yen ($679M) up 96.7% from last year. As it struggles with a decrease in appetite for traditional consumer electronics, the company has ramped up its games business. Overall sales for the quarter were up 5.8% with the games segment making a large contribution via the PlayStation 4 which was launched in November 2013. The results today beat analyst expectations, but Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai maintained a previous full-year forecast for a net loss of 50B yen and an operating profit of 140B yen.
Sales and revenue in the games division jumped 95.7% to $2.5B and went from negative operating income to +$41.8M. In home entertainment which makes televisions and audio and video devices, sales increased 3.8% to $2.8B. The hike came from significant sales of LCD televisions, mainly in Europe and Asia Pacific — and were likely impacted by the World Cup. But there was also a decrease in the sale of Blu-ray disc players. The movie division, however posted a profit of about $76M, up 109.3% from last year. Sales and operating revenue were $1.9B. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has grossed about $706M worldwide, $504M of that from overseas. 22 Jump Street is still playing and has yet to open in key markets that include Germany, Spain, France and Mexico. Through Sunday, it had an offshore cume of $92.7M with a total worldwide take of $279.1M. Sony also pointed out that last year’s similar quarter included the underperformance of After Earth.