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Sony’s profits drop as it warns of the impact from US movie strikes

Sony estimates 108 million people are active users on its Sony online gaming network, up by 5 million users from a year ago

The Sony logo is displayed outside the company's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan February 16, 2023.
The Sony logo is displayed outside the company's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan February 16, 2023.ISSEI KATO (REUTERS)

Sony’s April-June profit slipped 17% from a year earlier, as worries grew about revenue damage from a strike in the movie sector, the Japanese electronics and entertainment company said Wednesday.

Tokyo-based Sony Corp.’s fiscal first quarter profit totaled 217 billion yen ($1.5 billion), down from 261 billion yen a year ago.

Quarterly sales rose 33% to 2.96 trillion yen ($21 billion), as sales for the period grew in games and network services, the music business, financial services and imaging solutions.

Sony said its results got a boost from a favorable exchange rate. The yen has been declining lately, trading at about 143 yen to the dollar, and a weak yen is a plus for Japanese exporters like Sony.

Sony’s revenue in the movies segment was expected to suffer because of the strikes by the Writers Guild of America, or WGA, and Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, or SAG-AFTRA.

Release dates of movies, as well as deliveries of TV series, were being delayed, according to Sony.

Sony said it shipped 3.3 million of its PlayStation 5 video game consoles during the quarter through June. Sony estimates 108 million people are active users on its Sony online gaming network, up by 5 million users from a year ago.

Among Sony’s recent top-earning music releases were the “SOS” album by SZA, Miley Cyrus’ “Endless Summer Vacation” and “Harry’s House” from Harry Styles.

Sony raised its full year profit forecast to 860 billion yen ($6 billion) from an earlier projection for an 840 billion yen ($5.8) profit. That’s lower than the profit it recorded the previous year at 1 trillion yen.

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