Sony Group Corp. said Wednesday its net profit broke past the 1 trillion yen mark for the first time in the business year through March to a record 1.17 trillion yen ($11 billion), lifted by pandemic-induced gaming demand and the launch of the PlayStation 5 console.
The sharp gain in net profit, double the level in fiscal 2019, came as Sony also benefited from the blockbuster anime movie "Demon Slayer," underscoring the successful diversification of its business portfolio from electronics.
Operating profit rose 15.0 percent to 971.87 billion yen, and sales rose 9.0 percent to 9 trillion yen in the year ended March 31, 2021.
For the current fiscal year, Sony expects a net profit of 660 billion yen on sales of 9.7 trillion yen. Operating profit is forecast at 930 billion yen.
The electronics giant was formally known as Sony Corp. before a name change on April 1. The company primarily serves headquarters functions of the Japanese conglomerate encompassing financial services, gaming, entertainment and electronics.
The gaming industry is one of the winners that benefited from the pandemic, which has otherwise hit manufacturers and service providers to varying degrees. Nintendo Co. is scheduled to release its full-year earnings on May 6.
Since the November launch of the PlayStation 5, global sales have totaled 7.8 million units, according to Sony, compared with a target of 7.6 million for the first year.
Sony generated about a third of its operating profit from the gaming segment in fiscal 2020, while other sectors, such as music, financial services and electronics, also contributed to profit growth. Its image sensor segment was lackluster.
In the previous business year, concerns about the impact of heightened U.S-China tensions had cast a pall over Sony, a supplier of image sensors used in smartphones and cameras to Huawei Technologies Co., as the administration of then President Donald Trump tightened its grip on China and restricted exports to the Chinese tech firm.
© Kyodo News International, Inc., source Newswire