Kaz Hirai’s slimmer, fitter Sony hasn’t just turned a corner, it’s well on its way to earning its highest annual profit in years. The latest update on the company’s financial health revealed that it pulled in $18.25 billion in revenue and squeezed out a quarterly net profit of $1.15 billion. As usual, it’s Sony’s two most prized businesses that stand out on the balance sheet: PlayStation and smartphone image sensors.
Hirai’s goals for Sony’s future was to make it a powerhouse in gaming, imaging and mobile, but the third on the list hasn’t been a winner. Mobile is the only Sony division to make a loss this quarter, burning off $22.1 million, although executives can console themselves that LG mobile lost $331 million in the same period. The cause for the loss is the usual poor device sales, combined with a surge in the prices of raw materials.
PlayStation, on the other hand, continues to shine thanks to a sale in both games and consoles, and helped push the division to rake in $484.3 million. Around 4.2 million PS4s were pushed out the door, increasing the number of digital storefronts in people’s homes into which Sony can sell games at a low price. TVs, meanwhile, saw a small boost thanks to Sony’s emphasis on pricier, premium models.
The other big Sony business is its semiconductor division, which builds the image sensors for all the smartphones worth talking about. The company has neglected its own imaging business to push mobile image sensors, and that seems to have been the right decision. The arm alone pulled in an operating income of $436.6 million, not to mention the prestige of being at the heart of so many flagships.
Sony can also begin breaking out the champagne at its movie division, since partnering with Marvel to revive Spider-Man has proven to be a big deal. Sony Pictures saw a huge spike in earnings specifically tied to the success of Spider-Man: Homecoming, which helped the division rake in $68.8 million.