TV boosts Sony results, but films let it down

MUMBAI: Sony's US entertainment unit, Sony Pictures Entertainment, SPE, has announced its financial results for the fiscal year ended 31 March 2004.

The results shows a 40 per cent decline in operating profit to 35.2 billion yen ($321.8 million) for the fiscal year ended 31 March on a 6 per cent decline in revenue to 756.4 billion yen ($6.9 billion) as poor box office performance of SPE's movies Gigli, Hollywood Homicide, The Missing, and Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle triggered a negative impact on its financial results.

Sales decreased 5.8 per cent compared with the prior year (2 per cent increase on a dollar basis). The dollar revenues represented a new record for SPE, thanks to an increase in television revenues. But even strong syndication sales of The King of Queens, Seinfeld, and an extension of Wheel of Fortune licensing deals failed to do amends to SPE's poor show on the movies front.

Operating income decreased by 23.7 billion yen, or 40.3 per cent, from the prior year (30 per cent decrease on a dollar basis). In the previous fiscal year, SPE had Spider-Man lifting its financial position significantly. According to the company, the lack of a mega-box office money-spinner on the level of Spider-Man contributed heavily to this year's losses.

                                     (Billions of yen, millions of U.S. dollars)
                                           Year ended 31 March 2004
  2003 2004 Change 2004
Sales and operating revenue Y802.8 Y756.4
Operating income

SPE's results had a mixed effect on its Japanese parent company Sony Corp. The company reported 23 per cent decline in fiscal-year profit to 88.5 billion yen ($808.8 million) but posted a 0.3 per cent rise in revenue to 7.5 trillion yen ($68.5 billion).

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