Sony’s quarterly loss grows on mobile woes

Sony Corp. headquarters
Sony Corp. headquarters in Tokyo.
(Kiyoshi Ota / Bloomberg)

Losses at Sony Corp. grew to $1.25 billion in the second quarter as the Toyko-based electronics giant took a big write down on its mobile phone division. 

Meanwhile, its movie and television business declined in terms of revenue, but recorded a smaller quarterly loss than a year ago. 

Sales for Sony’s motion picture segment were $1.67 billion for the quarter that ended Sept. 30, down 3% from the same quarter last year.

The company blamed the decline on lower revenue for theatrical movies, offset by improved sales from home entertainment titles and television.


Home video releases during the quarter included “The Amazing Spider-Man 2" and the faith-based drama “Heaven Is For Real.” Television licensing for movies such as “Men in Black 3" and “The Amazing Spider-Man” also boosted sales.

The movie division’s operating loss of $10 million was significantly lower than the same quarter last year, when “White House Down” flopped at the box office.

Sony said its narrower loss was also because of lower marketing costs because it had fewer movies compared with a year ago.

Overall, Sony’s quarterly sales increased 7% to $17.4 billion, driven significantly by its PlayStation 4 gaming console.


However, the company’s electronics business has struggled in the face of intense competition from Apple Inc.'s iPhone and Samsung Electronics Co.'s devices.

Sony took a write-down of $1.6 billion on the value of its mobile communications business.

It also sold its personal computer business after failing to revive that segment, and it is also splitting off its division that makes television sets.

In music, sales were up slightly to $1.07 billion, and income increased to $108 million. Top-selling albums included Barbra Streisand’s “Partners,” Chris Brown’s “X” and Sia’s “1000 Forms of Fear.”

The company maintained its outlook for its full fiscal year, which ends in March. Sony forecast sales of $70 billion and a loss of $2.1 billion. It lowered its revenue forecast for the movies segment to $7.7 billion from $7.8 billion.

Investors reacted positively. Shares of Sony rose about 5% to $19.75 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday. Sony released its earnings statement on Thursday after U.S. financial markets closed.

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