Sony to delay earnings report in wake of hack attack

Sony says it will miss deadline for issuing third-quarter results because of last year's cyberattack

Sony said Friday that it will miss its deadline to report its next quarterly earnings as a result of the cyberattack on its film unit late last year.

The Tokyo-based company was expected to report results on Feb. 4 for the fiscal third quarter ending March 31.

But the company has filed for an extension with the Financial Services Agency of Japan, contending the hack attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, which began in late November, handicapped its abilities to produce a financial report by the Feb. 16 deadline. 

The company, under the helm of CEO Kazuo Hirai, has requested to file by March 31.

"As a result of the cyberattack, which has been now recognized as a highly sophisticated and damaging cyberattack, a serious disruption of [Sony Pictures Entertainment] network systems occurred, including the destruction of network hardware and the compromise of a large amount of data on these systems," the company wrote. "In response to this cyberattack, SPE shut down its entire network."

It continued: "Since that time, SPE has worked aggressively to restore these systems. However, most of SPE’s financial and accounting applications and many other critical information technology applications will not be functional until early February 2015 due to the amount of destruction and disruption that occurred, and the care necessary to avoid further damage by prematurely restarting functions."

The FBI has determined that North Korea was involved in the crippling cyberattack in an effort to stop Sony from releasing the film “The Interview,” which depicted an assassination attempt on Pyongyang’s leader, Kim Jong Un.

Sony said it will follow through with issuing a release and holding a conference call on Feb. 4 to provide a forecast on consolidated financial results for the third quarter "to the extent that is reasonably possible." Once its network systems are fully regained, the studio arm will verify its data from the two months it was affected.

I tweet about TV (and other things) here: @villarrealy

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times