• Kyodo

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Sony Corp. said Tuesday its fiscal 2020 net profit is expected to fall 12.4 percent from a year earlier to ¥510 billion ($4.8 billion), as the coronavirus pandemic has hit its image sensor and movie businesses.

Sony, which released its earnings projections for the business year through next March for the first time, said its net profit in the April to June period, however, surged 53.3 percent to ¥233.25 billion on robust demand for gaming products as many people had to stay home after the novel coronavirus swept the world.

“Sales of our game products were solid as people stayed home longer amid the pandemic,” said Chief Financial Officer Hiroki Totoki in an online news conference.

In the first quarter, Sony’s operating profit fell 1.1 percent to ¥228.40 billion, on sales of ¥1.97 trillion, up 2.2 percent from a year earlier.

Sony said its sales of gaming software and subscription-based online services for the PlayStation console are expected to grow and that it plans to release its new console, PlayStation 5, in the year-end shopping season as initially scheduled.

“There are no problems with production of the next console or the development of new software even with the virus spread,” Totoki said.

But sales of electronic goods and components such as digital cameras and image sensors for smartphones are likely to decline due to weak personal consumption.

“We expect sales of image sensors to return to a growing trend in the second half of next year,” and the company is withholding part of its planned new investments in this business segment, Totoki said.

The company said its production of music and movie content has been hampered by the spread of the virus and fewer releases will lower the bottom line.

Its full-year operating profit is projected to drop 26.7 percent to ¥620 billion, on estimated sales of ¥8.3 trillion, up 0.5 percent from the previous year.

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