Box-office smashes and brisk sales of its PlayStation 2 games console and related games products as well as stringent cost-cutting measures have resulted in Sony Corporation almost doubling its net profit in the third quarter.
Sony reported a record group net profit of US$1.06bn (125.4bn yen) in its third quarter results, almost double the figures of the previous year.
Sony posted a group operating profit of 199.5bn yen, up 26pc from 158.6bn yen the same period a year earlier. Pre-tax profits rose to 201.9bn yen, up 69pc from 119bn yen.
The company said sales soared to record levels, driven by box office hits such as Spider Man and Men In Black II in its movie unit as well as a surge in shipments of PlayStation 2 games by almost 50pc.
Sony kept its full-year earnings estimates unchanged and continues to forecast a group operating profit of 280bn yen an a net profit of 180bn yen for the fiscal year ending in March. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of over US$56.9bn for the fiscal year ended 31 March, 2002, and it employs 168,000 people worldwide.
However, revenues from electronics fell 4.6pc to 1.47 trillion yen, prompting the company’s executives to voice concern that the January-March period will be tougher, especially in the US where Sony gets about a third of its sales.
The good news at Sony may contrast harshly with media rivals AOL Time Warner, which is struggling in an uncertain business environment. AOL Time Warner is predicted by analysts to post a US$10bn loss in its results due later today.