Sony posts $3.17 billion loss, PlayStation division sees $434 million profit

Electronics giant takes in $87.78 billion in annual revenue; 14.3 million PlayStation 3s, 8 million PSPs, 6.4 million PS2s sold during the year.

Today, Sony announced its earnings for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2011. The results were close to those that had been forecast Monday, with the company suffering a loss for the year of ¥259.6 billion ($3.17 billion) on revenue of ¥7.18 trillion ($87.78 billion). The previous fiscal year, the company lost ¥40.8 billion ($498.59 million) on revenue of ¥7.21 trillion ($88.11 billion).

The PlayStation division swung from big losses to a solid profit last fiscal year.

In its report, Sony said that the biggest factor in the shortfall was the result of a ¥360 billion ($4.4 billion) charge related to deferred tax assets in Japan. The Great East Japan Earthquake was also a factor, as was the fact that sales were down in every division of the corporation save two: the Consumer, Professional & Devices segment, which handles HDTVs and other electronics, and the Networked Products & Services division, which encapsulates Sony Computer Entertainment.

In fact, results were so good at the Networked Products & Services division that Sony credited it with helping bring the company's overall operating income from ¥31.8 billion ($387.94 million) to ¥199.8 billion ($2.44 billion). As for the division itself, it reported ¥35.6 billion ($434.23 million) in operating income, way up from the ¥83.3 billion ($1.01 billion) operating loss it suffered during the previous fiscal year. Overall Networked Products & Services revenue was nearly flat at ¥1.57 trillion ($19.15 billion).

Lowered production costs of the PlayStation 3 were cited as part of the reason for the uptick in Networked Products & Services' operating income. During the year, Sony sold 14.3 million PlayStation 3s, just short of its goal of 15 million, but up from 13 million the year prior. Only 8 million PSPs were sold, down from 9.9 million the year before. Some 6.4 million PlayStation 2s were sold, down from 7.3 million.

Sony also said increased software sales helped its bottom line, and the year saw 147.9 million PS3 games sold, way up from 115.6 million the year before. PSP game sales also climbed from 44.4 million to 46.6 million. However, PS2 games sales nearly halved from 35.7 million to just 16.4 million.

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