Sony Earnings Improve; Pictures Division Jumps In Full-Year Results

Sony Pictures Entertainment saw operating income increase 13.4% to $488M, the parent company said while reporting its full fiscal year results this morning in Tokyo. The jump was due to the favorable impact of the depreciation of the yen against the greenback. The period also benefitted from the stronger performance of the film slate including hits like The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and 22 Jump Street, as compared to the under-performance of White House Down and After Earth during the previous year. The reporting also noted $41M in costs related to “investigation and remediation expenses” stemming from the hack attack last November.

Sales in the division rose to $7.32B, although on a constant U.S. dollar basis they actually fell by 4%. The company says the decrease was primarily due to lower theatrical revenues reflecting fewer releases as compared to the previous fiscal year. A decrese in TV production sales came after the extension of a licensing agreement for game shows produced by SPE, including Wheel Of Fortune, had inflated the 2013 numbers.

Overall, operating income for Sony’s fiscal year ended March 31 was $571M, a 158.7% increase on the previous year. Pre-tax profits ($331M) and sales ($68.47M) were also notably higher. The corporation puts the 5.8% jump in sales down to shifting foreign exchange rates and the strong performance of its PlayStation 4 hardware. Operating income was primarily driven by an improvement across the devices, games and home entertainment strands. A net loss of $1.05B was recorded, although Sony expects operating income to jump this year by almost five times to 320B yen ($2.7B). That would make the earnings the biggest in seven years, but it would fall short of an average analyst forecast of 408B yen, according to Thomson Reuters.

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