Sony profits soar on image sensors, games, "Spider-Man" film

Associated Press

Sony Corp. reported Tuesday that its fiscal second quarter profit zoomed by 26-fold from the same period last year, boosted by the success of its image sensors, game products and the latest "Spider-Man" movie.

Tokyo-based Sony, which makes Bravia TVs, PlayStation 4 video-game consoles and Wyclef Jean recordings, recorded a July-September profit of 130.9 billion yen ($1.2 billion), up from 4.8 billion yen reported last year.

Quarterly sales rose 22 percent to 2.06 trillion yen ($18 billion).

The Japanese electronics and entertainment giant raised its full-year profit forecast to 380 billion yen ($3.4 billion), up by nearly 50 percent from its earlier forecast of 255 billion yen ($2.3 billion) profit.

That's a more than five-fold improvement from the 73 billion yen earned in the fiscal year that ended in March.

Sony has suffered in recent years as it fell behind rivals like Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea and Apple, which makes the iPhone, in flat-panel TVs and mobile phones.

A pioneer in mobile music with the creation of the Walkman portable cassette player in 1979, Sony has been reshaping its operations to catch up in new technologies like 4K TVs, digital cameras and game software for its successful PlayStation franchise.

In the last quarter, a weak yen compared to a year earlier worked to boost Sony's bottom line. A weak yen lifts the value of overseas earnings of Japanese exporters.

The absence of costs related to damages at its computer-chips and battery businesses from last year's earthquake in Kumamoto, southwestern Japan, also helped.

Sony said its results benefited from the strong worldwide box office performance of "Spider-Man: Homecoming" and the popularity of a game application for mobile devices called "Fate/Grand Order."

Sony's perennially strong performing financial services businesses, such as life insurance and online banking, also did well, it said.

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AP Business Writer Yuri Kageyama can be reached at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

Her work can be found at https://www.apnews.com/search/yuri%20kageyama

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