As expected, Sony’s profits shriveled in the most recent fiscal year, down 88 percent to an operating income of $257 million and a net loss of $1.3 billion even as sales climbed 14 percent to $75 billion. The Japanese electronics giant reported a $1.21 loss per share, below the $1.09 loss expected by analysts.
The good news: Sony’s cameras, media business and financial services reported nearly $3 billion in operating income. The bad news: Sony has a lot of other verticals to account for. Its mobile, game, home entertainment and devices divisions lost $1.1 billion last year.
Plus, as it said it would in February, Sony has exited the PC business and laid off 5,000 workers in the process. Its now-defunct PC unit reported an $890 million loss in the fiscal year that ended in March, with $566 million of those losses stemming from restructuring costs and the write-down of excess inventory.
Sony partially credited its increase in sales to the launch of the PlayStation 4 last November. However, its game division still lost $78 million, in part due to the cost of launching the new console hardware, but mainly as a result of a $60 million write-off from poor sales of Sony Online Entertainment software. SOE, which operates apart from the PlayStation group at Sony Computer Entertainment, launched only one game in the past fiscal year but has two new titles — EverQuest Next and H1Z1 — in the pipeline for Windows and PlayStation 4.
In the fourth quarter of the just-ended fiscal year, Sony reported a $1 billion loss, versus $145 million in profits during the same quarter one year prior.
Looking ahead to the new fiscal year, which began in April, the company said it expects to report marginally higher sales of $76 billion and $1.4 billion in operating income, but a $490 million loss at this time next year. The projected loss is tied to the continuing effects of the restructuring under way this year.