Last year, the July-September quarter was a dire one for Sony, with the company losing ¥26.3 billion ($326 million) on ¥1.66 trillion ($20.6 billion) of revenues. Today, the company reported earnings for the same period in 2010, and the result was decidedly different--¥31.1 billion yen ($385.4 million) of profit on ¥1.73 trillion ($21.5 billion) in revenues.
One reason for the increased profitability is that the massive restructuring Sony underwent last year--which saw 16,000 people laid off--is finally paying off. Another reason, though, mentioned by the electronics giant was the improved performance of its Networked Products & Services division, which includes Sony Computer Entertainment.
During the same period last year, the Networked Products & Services division posted a ¥59 billion ($731.5 million) loss. From July-September 2010, the sector posted a ¥6.9 billion ($85.5 million) profit, thanks to higher PC sales and "the strong performance of [the] PlayStation 3 resulting from significant hardware cost reductions and higher sales."
The company did say that the games business shrunk year-over-year overall, reflecting lessening sales of its other platforms, the PSP and PlayStation 2. PSP sales were down 50 percent year-over-year, falling from 3 million to 1.5 million for the July-September quarter. PS2 sales fell less dramatically, falling from 1.9 million to 1.5 million units year-over-year.
As a result of the better-than-expected earnings during the July-September quarter, Sony now expects a profit of ¥70 billion ($867.7 million) for the full fiscal year, up from ¥60 billion ($743.8 million). It expects to sell 15 million PS3s during the year, as well as 8 million PSPs and 6 million PS2s. Software-wise, it predicts annual sales will be flat at 115.6 million PS3 games, 44.4 million PSP games, and 35.7 million PS2 games.