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Playstation Powers Sony to a Big Quarterly Profit Despite Movie Losses

Sony also grabs Michael Jackson’s cut of EMI for $287.5 million

SoPlaystation is the gift that keeps on giving for Sony, with the game console leading the charge as Sony posted a major increase in quarterly profit on Tuesday.

For the three months ended June 30 — representing Sony’s first quarter — the electronics giant reported a net profit of ¥226.4 billion ($2.04 billion) and revenue of ¥1.95 trillion ($17.55 billion) — tripling its profit from a year ago and slightly growing compared to the ¥1.86 trillion in sales for the same time last year.

Sony posted profits in each of its sectors minus movies and smartphones during the quarter. Playstation led the way, earning ¥226.4 billion ($750 million) for the Japanese company. The company has warned after previous earnings that Playstation’s success, and in particular, Playstation 4’s success, wouldn’t keep up its rapid pace, but that wasn’t the case here. Sony sold 3.2 million PS4 consoles, only a shade below its sales from a year ago. Forty million games were sold.

Revenue from Sony Pictures fell by more than 14 percent year-over-year. Sony’s two releases for the quarter — “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” and “Superfly” — coupled with the home sales of “Jumanji” to help the department post a smaller loss of ¥718 million ($68 million). Pictures lost $87 million during the same period last year.

Sony Music enjoyed a strong quarter, increasing three percent year-over-year to ¥121.3 billion ($1.11 billion) in revenue. Sony revealed it is buying the remaining 9.8 percent stake in EMI from Michael Jackson’s estate for $287.5 billion. And Spotify going public was a boost for Sony as well — with the company making $768 million by selling off some of its 5.7 percent stake in the streaming giant when it hit the stock market earlier this year. Sony still owns about $850 million worth of Spotify stock.