Sony’s profit drops 84% to $169M as film business takes $920M write-down

Sony’s PlayStation business was one of a few bright spots from its latest financial report, which was overshadowed by a near billion-dollar write-down for its film business.

The Japanese tech giant posted a 19.6 billion JPY ($169 million) profit on revenue of 2,397.5 billion JPY ($20.7 billion) for Q3. Revenue was down seven percent year-on-year, but net profit sunk by 84 percent on unfavorable foreign currency rates and a 112.1 billion JPY ($920 million) impairment charge of goodwill for Sony Pictures, announced earlier this week.

In the wake of the Pictures write-down, Sony lowered its full-year profit expectations by 22 percent to 196 billion JPY ($1.7 billion), despite raising its revenue forecast by three percent.

The games business, Sony’s most lucrative unit, posted a five percent rise as revenue reached 617.7 billion JPY, $5.3 billion, with a 50 billion JPY ($431 million) operating profit — up 25 percent.

Sony’s Mobile Communications, once the source of huge losses, has been tamed through downsizing that has seen it focus on mid-range devices and markets where the brand is competitive. The smartphone business alone was responsible for a $544 million loss in the previous financial year, and in Q3 it carded a 21.2 billion JPY ($183 million) operating profit with revenue down 35 percent on that cost-cutting.

Changing currency rates had a big impact on many of Sony’s other business units, many of which recorded drops in revenue and operating profit. That included Sony’s home entertainment business saw revenue drop 12 percent to 353.4 billion JPY ($3 billion) with profit down 17 percent.