Sony’s operating income in the July-September quarter, its fiscal Q2, fell 48% vs the period last year to $453M. But the Sony Pictures unit held its own, generating a $32M profit, up from a slight loss, with help from releases including Ghostbusters, Sausage Party and Don’t Breathe.
Revenue for the conglomerate, led by CEO Kaz Hirai, fell 10.8% for the quarter to $16.72B, which it attributes to currency fluctuations. On a constant currency basis, sales were essentially flat year-on-year, it says.
Sony Pictures’ sales, however, increased 4.6% year-on-year in Japanese Yen (a 25% increase on U.S. dollar basis) to $1.9B.
The Ghostbusters reboot has generated $229M in box office revenues worldwide while Sausage Party and Don’t Breathe took $136.8M and $151.4M respectively. Those numbers include sales after the end of Q2, and revenues that theater owners keep.
In last year’s Q2, Sony’s Pixels didn’t meet its high expectations taking $244.8M worldwide. Hotel Transylvania 2 became a big hit for the company last year, posting a robust $473.2M worldwide, but opened near the end of the quarter.
Sales in TV productions increased significantly due to higher subscription video-on-demand licensing revenues for The Crown and Baz Lurhmann’s music-driven drama The Get Down. Higher ad and subscription revenues across India, Europe and Latin America were major drivers for media sales for the company.
Sony’s games division saw sales decrease by 11.3% year-on-year, with a operating income loss of $188M. This, the company said, was primarily due to the effects of the price reduction for the PlayStation 4 hardware as well as a decrease in PlayStation 3 software sales, partially offset by PS4 hardware cost reductions and sales. Foreign exchange rate fluctuations also hit the division this quarter.
On Monday, Sony Corp. announced the finalization of the sale of its underperforming battery business to electronics component maker Murata Manufacturing, which supplies smartphone parts to companies such as Apple. Sony sold that part of the business for $167M.
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