Sony’s profit zooms to record on video games, ‘Demon Slayer

TOKYO (AP) — Sony’s January-March profit zoomed eight-fold to 107 billion yen ($982 million) from a year earlier as people stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic turned to the Japanese electronics and entertainment company’s video games and other visual content.

Sony Corp. reported Wednesday a record profit of 1.17 trillion yen ($11 billion) for the fiscal year that ended March 31, roughly doubling from 582 billion yen the previous fiscal year.

The popularity of the “Demon Slayer” animation film also helped, along with solid sales in mobile game applications and digital content. Demand persists for the PlayStation 5 game console, which went on sale last year. Sony said it has sold 7.8 million PlayStation 5 machines globally.

Tokyo-based Sony’s quarterly sales rose 27% from 1.7 trillion yen to 2.2 trillion yen ($20 billion). Sony had reported a January-March profit of 12.6 billion yen last year.

Sony’s financial services division, including banking and insurance, also contributed to healthy profits and sales for the fiscal year.

Among the top-selling Sony musical artists in the latest fiscal year were Harry Styles, AC/DC, Luke Combs and Doja Cat.

But Sony projected a 44% decline in profit for the fiscal year through March 2022, at 660 billion yen ($6 billion), as factors that boosted profit for the fiscal year just ended, such as the megahit “Demon Slayer,” would be missing.

Sales for the fiscal year through March 2022 were expected to rise nearly 8% to 9.7 trillion yen ($89 billion), as movie theaters reopening with the pandemic subsiding in some regions would help its motion pictures business.

The company also expects increased revenue from licensing the TV show “Seinfeld.”

Sony said its bottom line was supported by its strong intellectual property content and lucrative acquisitions, part of its transition from mostly manufacturing electronics products like TVs and Walkman recorders to delivering a variety of entertainment. ___

Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter