Following the announcement that Sony Corp CEO Kazuo Hirai would step down from his post later this year, with CFO Kenichiro Yoshida replacing him, the Japanese conglomerate reported a 280% increase in operating income to 350.8B yen ($3.2B) for the third quarter ended December 31 2017. In net income attributable to stockholders, that’s a jump from 19.6B yen ($179M) in the similar period last year to 296B ($2.7B).
The best-ever Q3 profit was largely aided by activity in the games and image sensors businesses. Notably, though, the Pictures segment saw a huge upwards swing with 10.5B yen ($95.6M) in profits, partly thanks to the outsize performance of box office smash Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle.
The figures are in sharp contrast to this time last year when Sony took a $962M goodwill impairment charge for its Pictures division. Not so, this time. By the end of December 2017, Jake Kasdan’s continuation of the 1995 classic adventure movie Jumanji was on its way to $200M at the international box office and was nearing $400M worldwide. The film is still in play with $825M global to date and will be a major factor in the Q4 tallies.
Also benefiting Sony Pictures Entertainment in Q3 were higher advertising and subscription revenues in India due to the acquisition of TEN Sports Network, and a jump in SVOD revenues derived mainly from Season 2 of The Crown.
This was the second quarter in a row to post strong results for a reinvigorated Sony Pictures. In October, the division was riding high on Spider-Man: Homecoming which helped push it to a $68.1M Q2 profit.
While the Full Year profit forecast for the Pictures division remains unchanged at 39B yen ($355.3M), overall Sony upped its forecast to 720B yen ($6.6B) repping the best ever in the company’s 72-year history.
Group-wide, sales were up 11.5% to $23.6B. The Games strand saw profits jump to $778M thanks to increased sales of PlayStation 4 software with the forecast unchanged for the full year.