Sony says 1H net profit off 15%, upgrades full year forecast


FILE – In this June 14, 2018, file people stand online next to the PlayStation booth at the 24th Electronic Entertainment Expo E3 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Sony is shutting down its pioneering online-cable alternative, PlayStation Vue, citing the high costs of content and the difficulty of network deals. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

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TOKYO (AP) — Sony Corp. said Wednesday that its net profit fell 15% in the first half of the year, though strong sales of entertainment and imaging sensors offset weakness in the games sector.

Tokyo-based Sony, which makes Bravia digital TVs and the Aibo robotic dog, upgraded its earnings forecast for the full fiscal year on expectations for stronger sales and lower taxes.

Sales dipped 2% from a year earlier in April-September, to 4 trillion yen ($37.2 billion), it said.

The company said net profit was 340 billion yen ($3.1 billion), compared with 399 billion yen in the same period a year earlier.

It forecast its net profit for the year ending March 31, 2020, will reach 540 billion yen ($5 billion), up 8% from its earlier estimate but well below the 916.3 billion yen it earned in the previous fiscal year.

Sony’s movie division, Sony Pictures Entertainment, is expected to underperform earlier forecasts due to delays in releases, it said.

The video game business also is expected to fall below earlier expectations due to lower than forecast sales of the PlayStation 4 game console and adverse foreign exchange trends, it said.

Sony’s music unit saw stronger sales from downloads and streaming. The company is preparing releases in coming months of works by Celine Dion, Pentatonix, Leonard Cohen and Luke Combs, among others.

Gains from Spotify have helped lift Sony’s bottom line.

Founded in 1946, Sony long was a pioneer in electronics and entertainment, exemplified in the Walkman, which introduced the idea of mobile music to the world.

But it struggled for years to adjust to the digital age amid competition from powerful rivals like Apple and Samsung.

Juggling its widespread operations, which also include medical equipment and financial services, has also proved challenging.

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