Sony beat analyst estimates with a 38.8% increase in operating profit for the first quarter of 2015, but its pictures division incurred a $96M loss with no breakout hits released during the period. Revenues overall were flat, largely down to a decrease in smartphopne and LCD TV sales which were offset by foreign exchange rates. Net income for the corporation rose more than 207% to $665M.
The movie and TV division saw an 11.9% drop in sales and operating revenues to $1.4B. Sony, which released Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (approximate global cume $104M), Chappie ($102M), Aloha ($24M) and Insidious: Chapter 3 ($107M) during the quarter, says the drops are a reflection of the stronger global theatrical performance of films released in the same quarter of the previous fiscal year which included The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and 22 Jump Street. Last year’s TV sales also had Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 and Captain Phillips in the mix. Sony currently has Pixels playing in global markets with a cume through Sunday of $49.15M.
The games division continues to work in Sony’s favor with sales up 12.1% for revenues of $2.37B, mostly due to the success of PlayStation 4. Operating income jumped by 350.5% to $160M which includes $39M in insurance recoveries related to losses incurred from the 2012 cyberattack on Sony’s network services.
The overall operating income climb to $794M was thanks primarily to the music division which saw a “remeasurement gain” to fair value of a 51% equity interest in Orchard Media as well as the sale of a part of the logistics business and certain real estate holdings in Japan.
Sony now relies less on consumer electronics as Kazuo Hirai has restructured the business. Shares have roughly doubled over the past year on signs that the turnaround is beginning to work, notes the Wall Street Journal.
Sony did not change its forecast for the year, eyeing net income of 140B yen ($1.13B) versus a 126B yen loss last year.