Sony returns to profit on game software, Spotify gains

TOKYO — Japanese entertainment and electronics company Sony Corp. has reverted to profitability for the quarter through March, boosted by robust demand for game software and network services, as well as gains from Spotify.

Sony reported an 87.9 billion yen ($787 million) January-March profit Friday, a reversal from the 13.3 billion yen loss racked up the previous year.

Quarterly sales totaled 2.1 trillion yen ($19 billion), up 9% from 1.9 trillion yen.

For the fiscal year, Sony reported a near doubling in profit to 916.3 billion yen ($8.2 billion), up from 490.8 billion yen. Sales rose 1% to 8.67 trillion yen ($78 billion).

Sony got a gain for its stake in Spotify, which was publicly listed in April last year. Sony owned 5.7% of Spotify at that time. Sony has sold some of its stake in Spotify over the last year, it said.

Also helping the bottom line was its semiconductors business, but the mobile phone operations continued to lag, according to Tokyo-based Sony.

Sony's film division saw a sales dip because of the strong performance of "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" and "Spider-Man: Homecoming" the previous year. Such works contributed this year in television licensing and home entertainment sales.

The company said sales in its music business remained flat but profit grew as a result of the consolidation of EMI, which has a vast music catalog. Recording artists for Sony's music business include Khalid and Justin Timberlake.

Sony, which makes Bravia digital TVs and the Aibo robotic dog, is expecting a 500 billion yen ($4.5 billion) profit for the fiscal year through March 2020, down 45% from the fiscal year just ended.

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