Sony Boosts Forecast as Sales Hold Amid COVID Damage | Economic news

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By YURI KAGEYAMA, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) – Sony said on Thursday that its profit fell 54% in the last quarter, mainly due to a one-time tax gain that inflated last year’s figure.

The Japanese electronics and entertainment company has managed to maintain its results despite the coronavirus pandemic, reporting a 13% increase in quarterly sales.

Tokyo-based Sony Corp.’s July-September profit totaled 213.1 billion yen ($ 2.4 billion), up from 458.6 billion yen the previous year. Quarterly sales soared to 2.370 billion yen ($ 21 billion).

Sony has raised its profit forecast for the fiscal year through March 2022 to 730 billion yen ($ 6.4 billion), from 700 billion yen ($ 6.2 billion) previously.

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Sony, which makes PlayStation game consoles, has suffered from a chip shortage due to the effects of COVID-19 infections in Southeast Asia, as have other manufacturers around the world.

But its sprawling business, which includes televisions, digital cameras, movies and banking, has held up relatively well.

The pandemic has benefited sectors like gaming and streaming music as people were stuck in their homes, chief financial officer Hiroki Totoki told reporters.

Sony is in talks with TSMC, or Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, to produce computer chips in Japan to ensure a steady supply, he said, while declining to give details.

On the risk side, if COVID-19 infections start to decline in the coming months, Sony will not be able to count on the same strong revenue growth for companies that have benefited from the pandemic, the company said.

Sony said sales will increase with Sony Pictures Entertainment’s acquisition of Crunchyroll, which provides video-on-demand, mobile games, animation and manga in 200 countries and territories.

The acquisition was completed in August through Funimation, a joint venture between Sony Pictures Entertainment and Aniplex, a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment.

Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

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