PlayStation maker’s profits rise in last quarter

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Sony’s profits edged up 3% last quarter, weathering production setbacks from Covid-19 lockdowns in Shanghai and a trend away from video games as pandemic restrictions eased elsewhere.

Sony’s April-June profit totaled 218 billion yen ($1.6 billion), up from 212 billion yen a year earlier, the Japanese electronics and entertainment company said.

Quarterly sales rose 2% to 2.31 trillion yen on strong demand in Sony’s music businesses, including Harry Styles’ Harry’s House and Doja Cat’s Planet Her.

Among the best performers in cinema was Morbius, a film based on the Marvel Comics hero. Sony also hopes Bullet Train, starring Brad Pitt and slated for release in August, will do well at the box office.

Sony, which makes PlayStation video game consoles, Bravia TVs and Columbia Pictures movies, said sales of its music streaming service increased in the quarter.

Despite some concerns about a global economic slowdown, streaming business is expected to remain steady, chief financial officer Hiroki Totoki said.

Sales fell in the video games and technology services sector. One reason was that as restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic eased, people were playing games less and going out instead, Mr Totoki said.

Additionally, a shortage of computer chips slowed production of Sony’s PlayStation 5 machine.

Sony’s game software sales fell in the last quarter, while software development costs rose.

Sony has acknowledged that slower shipments could dampen the momentum of gamer interest in the PlayStation 5.

But the company is banking on major game titles slated for release later in the year to boost sales.

Sony said it expects full-year profit to fall to 800 billion yen from 882 billion yen a year earlier.

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