Sony Corp is reporting first quarter earnings this morning in Tokyo with Sony Pictures Entertainment posting a $68.3M loss for the April-June period. This marks an improvement on 2017’s $86.2M Q1 loss, which in turn had improved on the previous year’s comparable quarter.
Sony says the advance is thanks to a decrease in theatrical advertising costs — there were no major global releases during the quarter — and strong home entertainment sales of Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle. Current hit, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, started overseas rollout at the tail end of June in Australia so isn’t a factor here.
Sales in the Pictures division were $1.57B, down 14% on a dollar basis. Sony is attributing this to lower licensing revenues in its TV Productions arm as well as a drop in advertising revenues compared to last year which included the broadcast rights to Indian Premier League cricket. Sony execs on an earnings call noted that last year, drama The Last Tycoon “contributed a lot,” but has since ended. Better Call Saul was also part of Q1 in 2017, but due to a delay in broadcast this year will post in the second quarter, they said.
The full-year sales forecast in the unit was increased from April’s 960B yen ($8.64B) to 990B yen ($8.91B), a 30% hike. Operating income was upped 2% to a profit of 44B yen ($396M). Big releases ahead this year for Sony include Venom and Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.
Overall, for the April-June period, the Japanese conglomerate saw a 24% increase in operating income to 195B yen ($1.75B). Sales and operating revenue jumped to 1,953.6B yen ($17.9B). Operating income for the full year forecast is flat with April’s report at 670B yen ($6B).
The jump versus last year’s comparable period beat analyst estimates with significant gains in the Games & Network Services segment thanks to PlayStation4 online sales. The unit saw the biggest uptick in sales at 124% to 472.1B yen ($4.25B). Operating income is up 65.7% to 83.5B yen ($751M).