Published: Fri, August 03, 2018
Technology | By Russell Knight

Sony posts record Q1 profit as new strategy lift its game

Sony posts record Q1 profit as new strategy lift its game

Sony's quarterly financial results are in, revealing that the PlayStation 4 is sitting at a tidy 82.2 million consoles shipped to retailers. It kept its profit forecast for the year ending March at 670 billion yen, down 9 percent on year, citing various risks including competition in smartphones.

Nevertheless, Sony revised upward its financial projections for the year to March on a weaker-than-expected yen and the solid game business.

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It said sales were up 9.1 percent to ¥168.16 billion, and it was expecting strong demand for the Switch console to continue into the second half of the year.

It also raised its sales forecast for the full year to 8.6 trillion yen, up from a previously projected 8.3 trillion yen.

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"Our fundamental challenge is that competitiveness of our products may not be able to meet top-class levels", said Sony CFO Hiroki Totoki, referring to its smartphone lineup.

Under that strategy, the gaming business saw profit increase to JPY 83.5 billion in the three months ended June from JPY 17.7 billion a year earlier, as high-margin online software and new first-party titles such as "God of War" and "Detroit: Become Human" compensated for slowing sales of PlayStation 4 consoles. Annual results are now expected to reach JPY 2.135 trillion in sales and JPY 250 billion in profit.

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That being said, there is a slight dip in sales from the same period in the previous year, where Sony actually sold 100,000 units more than this year. During the quarter, the company had few surprises to share at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) and also angered gamers over its lack of cross-platform play for Fortnite. Right now, PlayStation Plus subscribers is holding steady with 33.9 million users. Net income also topped their prediction at 226.5 billion yen; the company raised its fiscal full-year forecast for net income by 20 billion yen to 500 billion yen. While Playstation might be the ace in Sony's pack, it was the smartphone division that once again showed why the Japanese giant is lagging behind the likes of Samsung and Apple.

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