Sony reports annual profit drop after coronavirus disruptions

TOKYO — Sony on Wednesday reported a drop in annual profit and offered no forecast for this year as disruption from the coronavirus hit several of its businesses.

Net profit at the Japanese electronics-to-entertainment conglomerate fell 36.5% to 582 billion yen ($5.43 billion) in the year to the end of March. Operating profits fell 5.5% to 845 billion yen compared to 894 billion yen last year. Revenue, meanwhile, fell 4.7% to 8.2 trillion yen.

The lackluster performance announced by the company was mainly due to weak sales of electronic products such as TVs and digital cameras. The coronavirus outbreak contributed to weak sales as consumers stayed home during a wave of lockdowns across the world.

Sony also struggled to sell its PlayStation 4 hardware, already in its sixth year, as well as gaming software. However, its image sensor business, which has become a crucial growth driver, maintained high sales and profits.

Sony in February had raised its forecast for the year’s annual operating profit by 5% to 880 billion yen, driven by strong sales in its image sensor business, used mainly for smartphones.

But management had warned investors that disruption from the coronavirus pandemic could wipe out the upward revision.

CEO Kenichiro Yoshida told Nikkei Asian Review in an interview last month: “It is too early to tell what kind of change [there will be] but we will have to adapt to the new world.”

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