When consumers leave movie theaters, concert halls, smartphone stores and TV stores, Sony is left with the video game. Despite the Covid-19 epidemic which has negatively impacted many of its activities, the Japanese group, behind the Playstation, unveiled stable financial results on Tuesday, August 4. Between April and June, turnover increased by 2% (to 1,968.9 billion yen or 15.75 billion euros) while operating profit fell by 1% (to 228.4 billion yen) .
For the group led by Kenichiro Yoshida, revenue growth only came in the first quarter of its staggered fiscal year from two business segments: video games and the management of its financial assets. Income from sales of his Playstation 4, games like his hit “The Last of Us 2”, and subscriptions to the Playstation offer have “ benefited this quarter from the positive impact of ‘stay-at-home’ demand, following the Covid-19 epidemic »Indicate Sony.
Outperformance on the eve of the PS5 launch
While populations have confined themselves to their homes in many countries, Sony’s video game branch has thus recorded revenue up 32% for an operational profit up by 69%. The Playstation Network service – which allows you to play online – has for its part gained an additional 3.4 million subscribers. This is the largest increase in this figure for two years that the company has declared.
The outperformance of its main source of income (30%) is timely for Sony, a few months before the highly anticipated release of its next-generation console, the Playstation 5. According to Bloomberg, Sony Interactive has recently decided to double the production of PS5, ahead of its launch by Christmas and an official presentation scheduled for August.
Cautious objectives over the year
Nevertheless, this global craze for video games does not make Sony lose its caution. Its annual targets have been deemed timid by analysts. Deeming the economic environment complicated to predict, the leaders of the conglomerate do not forget that entire areas of their business must be adapted to what they call the “world after the coronavirus”. In March alone, confinement cost the Japanese group the equivalent of 600 million euros.
For example, Sony can no longer rely as much as before on its very profitable sales of image sensors for smartphones. Sales of telephones, especially the more expensive ones, on which its products found their place, have lost their momentum.
In music, sales fell 12% this quarter, the result of record store closings and lower revenue from rights to use songs in advertising. On the rise, music streaming revenue did not compensate.