Sony Pictures Entertainment Records $179M Q3 Profit; Corporation Names Hiroki Totoki Group President & COO

Business

Sony Pictures Entertainment recorded $179 million in operating income for the third quarter ended December 31, 2022. That figure reps an 86% decrease on a dollar basis versus the same period last year, though it’s tough to compare apples to apples here since Q3 2021 had a massive assist from the phenomenal global box office performance of Spider-Man: No Way Home along with the success of Venom: Let There Be Carnage.

Also cited as culprits for the swing were lower revenues for television productions versus Q3 2021 which benefited from the licensing of Seinfeld and the absence of a gain from the transfer of GSN Games business in Q3 2021. The full-year forecast for the segment remains unchanged from Sony’s last earnings report, with 115 billion yen ($893.7 million) in profits expected for fiscal year 2023. 

Reporting overall Q3 earnings from Tokyo this afternoon local time, Sony Corp also announced a change to its group management structure with Hiroki Totoki succeeding Kenichiro Yoshida as Group President. However, the latter will remain Chairman and CEO while Totoki retains his CFO title. 

In total, Sony Corp revenues were up 13% to 3.4 trillion yen ($26.4 billion) but operating income was down 8% to $3.3 billion. Increases in music and the Games & Network Services divisions were impactful.

The conglomerate upped its full-year profit forecast by 2% to 1.18 trillion yen ($9.2 billion).

Turning back to specific segments, during Q3 2022, Sony Pictures releases included Lyle, Lyle Crocodile which grossed nearly $100 million worldwide, and smartly held on to UK rights for Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical which had made $25 million in the market by year’s end. Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody squeaked in at the end of December with $25 million global.

The rest of 2023 includes such titles as Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Priyanka Chopra Jonas/Celine Dion pic Love Again, Gran Turismo in partnership with PlayStation, Kraven the Hunter and the Ghostbusters sequel.

Games saw a significant hike in sales of hardware and first-party titles. Operating income was up 25% to 116.2 billion yen ($903.2 million). Sony noted that since being released in September 2022, God of War: Ragnarok has moved a combined 16.1 million PlayStation4 and PlayStation5 units. In Q3 in total, there were 112 million active users across the PlayStation network.

In Music, revenues were up 23% to $2.83 billion with a 14% jump in profits to $490 million. Harry Styles, Beyoncé and SZA led sales.

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