Sony Assays Game Plan
Sales soared at Sony's movie, home electronics, and camera divisions during the company's third quarter, which ended Dec. 31, but enormous costs to launch its PlayStation 3 game console resulted in a 5.3 percent slide in profits versus last year, the company said today (Tuesday). The company's gaming unit, Sony Computer Entertainment, posted a $443-million operating loss. Sony's net profit for the quarter dipped to $1.3 billion from $1.4 billion a year ago. But theater-ticket sales and DVD sales rose 47 percent at Sony Films, thanks largely to the box-office success of the James Bond flick Casino Royale and strong DVD business for The Da Vinci Code. Nevertheless, despite the disappointing quarter, the company raised its forecasts for the full year, primarily as a result of the ever-increasing demand for large, flat-screen, high-definition TV sets. For the quarter, which included the Christmas holiday shopping period, Sony's core electronics unit reported a record operating profit.