TOKYO, Feb 2 (Reuters) – Sony Group Corp (6758.T) has raised its annual profit forecast, helped by a strong performance from its video games division, and its sales target for the PlayStation 5 games console by a million units to 19 million raised for the year through March.
The electronics and entertainment giant also said its chief financial officer, Hiroki Totoki, would become president and chief operating officer effective April 1, while retaining his current role.
Acting President Kenichiro Yoshida remains Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
“I’m obsessed with growth. All businesses and companies tend to go into a negative spiral when growth falters,” Totoki told a news conference on Thursday.
“By realizing growth, I want to create a virtuous circle where we are chosen by customers and our employees are energized.”
The company now expects to report total operating profit of 1.18 trillion yen ($9.17 billion) for the year ended March 31, up 1.7% from its previous forecast of 1 .16 trillion yen.
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That falls short of analysts’ average estimate of a profit of 1.19 trillion yen, according to data from Refinitiv, and just short of a record 1.2 trillion yen profit posted a year earlier.
Sony said sales of its Playstation 5 consoles totaled 7.1 million units in the October-December quarter, which coincides with the critical year-end shopping season, a sharp increase from 3.9 million units a year earlier.
“Various steps that we have taken on both the hardware and software side are steadily bearing fruit. I believe we are generating positive momentum to accelerate growth in our gaming operations again,” Totoki said.
Sony, which competes in the games sector with Xbox maker Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and Switch maker Nintendo Co Ltd (7974.T), struggled to produce enough PlayStation 5 units last year due to supply chain difficulties.
Totoki said risks related to supply chains have not yet been resolved and the company has ramped up game console production sharply in the October-December quarter so it can safely meet demand in the current quarter.
For October-December, Sony posted a 7.8% decline in operating profit as its film division underperformed from a year ago when a blockbuster movie, Spider-Man: No Way Home, boosted its profits.
($1 = 128.6800 yen)
Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka, Mayu Sakoda Editing by Shri Navaratnam, David Dolan, Simon Cameron-Moore and Sharon Singleton
Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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