Sony just announced its financial results for the quarter ended on December 31st, 2013, and as opposed to what many expected they actually are in the black.
The whole corporation earned 22.979 billion dollars in net sales, generating an operating profit of 860 million dollars and a net income of 257 million dollars. The year-over-year increase in total sales was 23.9%.
The game division by itself earned 4.207 million dollars in net sales with a year-over-year increase of 64.6%. The operating income was 172 million dollars.
The upturn in earnings was mostly attributed to the successful launch of the PS4 in North America, Europe and Latin America, alongside the positive exchange rate between yen and dollar and good sales for smartphones and tablets.
Regarding the core businesses, strong hardware and software sales of the PlayStation 4, which was introduced in the current quarter, were recorded in the Game segment. The mobile business, which includes smartphones and tablets, had a significant year-over-year increase in sales and a significant improvement in operating results, and has been contributing to profits since the first quarter of the current fiscal year.
In Game, the PS4, which went on sales outside on Japan in November 2013, got off a strong start, selling 4.2 million units of hardware consoles and 9.7 million units of software titles in the six weeks after launch. There was also a dramatic increase in the number of members of PlayStation Plus, Sony’s subscription-based network service. Moreover, Sony is pursuing the diversification of profit drivers, including the announcement of the launch of PlayStation Now, a streaming game service that utilizes cloud technology.
The presentation slides confirmed the 4.2 million units sold before the end of the year figure. 9.7 million software units were also sold for the new console.
Counting the total of home consoles, Sony sold 7.8 million systems in the quarter, while 2.0 million units were sold for PlayStation portable systems. The total sales for software (for both home and portable consoles) summed up to 126 million units.
The forecast for the whole fiscal year speaks of 15 million home consoles sold, 5 million portables and 360 million software units moved. No forecast for the PS4 by itself was provided.
Not everything is positive, though: the earnings forecast for the whole fiscal year is unchanged to 75.9 billion dollars in sales, but the operating income has been sliced from 1.676 billion dollars to 788.6 million mostly due to restructuring charges and the reform of the PC and TV businesses, bringing the predicted net income in the red by 1.084 billion dollars.