Sony earnings decline, but 2018 forecasts biggest profit jump in 20 years

Sony Mobile store Taipei

Sony’s earnings were down in the fiscal year ending March 31st, but the company is forecasting annual operating profit to increase 73.2 percent for the 2018 fiscal year.

The Japanese tech giant estimates $4.5 billion USD in this period, compared to roughly $2.6 billion the year prior. This is in line with analyst predictions compiled by Reuters.

Sony announced that in this period, it shipped just 14.6 million smartphones following “significant downsizing” of its sales in unprofitable regions. In the previous fiscal year, the company posted shipments of 24.9 million units.

However, the overall Mobile Communications division reported a $91 million operating profit in this period, compared with a $57.4 million loss in the previous year.

Sales decreased 32.7 per cent year-oo-year to $6.8 billion, with Sony citing declines in European, Middle Eastern and Latin American markets. Last quarter, the company reported a 35 percent year-on-year decrease.

Sony anticipates an eight per cent increase in the current financial year, with its XZ Premium smartphone set to launch in June in select markets. A Canadian release has not yet been confirmed, though.

As for PlayStation, Sony’s gaming brand continued to show strong performance, with revenue jumping 6.3 percent year-over-year to $14.73 billion. Twenty million units of the PS4 console shipped in 2016, up from 17.7 million the year prior, bringing lifetime shipments to 60 million.

It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean that as many units have been sold, just how many were sent out to retailers. Sony previously announced in December that 50 million PS4s have been sold worldwide.

Earlier this month, Sony also released a $380 CAD 1 TB PS4 model.

Sony attributed increased revenue to high software sales; this year, it’s already released exclusives like Nioh, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Nier: Automata and Persona 5. Resident Evil 7 also launched with PlayStation VR compatibility, with 10 percent of overall players taking advantage of the feature.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Sony

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