Sony hikes annual profit outlook to record

By Reuters
October 30,2018
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The company logo of Sony Cooperation is seen at the CP+ camera and photo trade fair in Yokohama, Japan, February 25, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

TOKYO (Reuters) - Sony Corp <6758.T> lifted its annual operating profit outlook by 30 percent to a record level after a strong second-quarter, bolstered by popular game titles as well as growing demand for its online gaming services.

Sony raised its annual profit forecast to 870 billion yen ($7.7 billion) from an earlier estimate of 670 billion yen. That compares with a consensus of 796.4 billion yen from 25 analysts, according to data from Refinitiv.

Operating income for the Japanese entertainment and electronics firm surged 17 percent to 239.5 billion yen ($2.1 billion) for the July-September quarter.

Expectations for a strong result climbed after the Nikkei business daily reported on Saturday that Sony would log record first-half operating profit for a second year in a row.

While sales for its mainstay PlayStation 4 console, now five years old, are on the decline, this has been offset by big gaming hits exclusive to Sony such as the action-adventure title "God of War" whose latest installment was released in April and "Marvel's Spider-Man" which came to market in September.

Its PlayStation Plus subscription-based service has also seen robust growth in subscriber numbers while in the Japanese mobile gaming market, role playing game "Fate/Grand Order" published by a unit of Sony's music division continued to deliver a strong performance.

Sony raised its profit forecast for the semiconductor division, which includes imaging sensors, to 140 billion yen from 120 billion yen.

Although the global smartphone market is maturing, demand for Sony's image sensors has remained healthy as phone manufacturers introduce multiple-lens camera systems for high-end models.

(Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)