Spider-Man boosts profits at Japanese electronics maker Sony

TOKYO — Sony’s profit for the quarter through December edged up 11% on healthy sales at its film division, including the new Spider-Man movie, the Japanese electronics and entertainment company said Wednesday.

Tokyo-based Sony Corp. posted a profit of 346 billion yen ($3 billion) for the fiscal third quarter, up from 310.7 billion yen a year earlier.

Quarterly sales rose slightly to 3 trillion yen ($26 billion) from 2.7 trillion yen.

Sony announced strong deals in its music division, such as Adele’s “30” album; movies like “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and licensing revenue from the “Seinfeld” series boosted profits.

Its Imaging and Sensors Unit also posted strong results.

In video games, sales fell short of expectations as a parts supply crisis, particularly semiconductors, weighed on sales of its PlayStation 5 machine, Sony said.

The company’s chief financial officer, Hiroki Totoki, said Sony’s acquisition of Bungie Inc., known for its Halo and Destiny games, for $3.6 billion underscored its commitment to the gaming industry.

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The purchase includes payments to the indie studio’s shareholder creators to ensure their retention, he said.

Analysts say the addition complements Sony’s strength in shooters and will further strengthen its position.

But competition is heating up in the video game industry.

Microsoft Corp. buys Activision Blizzard, maker of Candy Crush and Call of Duty, for $68.7 billion, making the Xbox maker one of the biggest games companies in the world.

Sony has branched out into new areas, recently showing off a prototype electric vehicle at a trade show in Las Vegas. The company said it hoped to turn the car into a new kind of entertainment space.

Sony, which also makes televisions and portable digital music players, is also betting on the metaverse, the immersive virtual world, where it faces rivals like Facebook or Meta.

Sony is forecasting a profit of 860 billion yen ($7.5 billion) for the full year through March, up from 1 trillion yen in the previous fiscal year. The latest forecast marks an improvement from the 730 billion yen ($6.3 billion) profit expected in October.

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Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

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