Sony is cautious about the future and the expected decline in PS5 sales

Sony is cautious about the future and the expected decline in PS5 sales

Japanese consumer electronics giant Sony exceeded its targets for the fiscal year ending at the end of March. (Image: 123RF)

Japanese consumer electronics giant Sony beat its targets for the fiscal year ending at the end of March, but remained cautious about the future, anticipating in particular a decline in video game sales.

Its net profits for the last fiscal year 2023/24 reached 970.6 billion yen (5.7 billion euros), a decrease of 3.5% year-on-year, and its operating profits declined by 7.2%, despite a 19% increase in sales, according to what the company explained. Its results were published on Tuesday.

Sony explains the decline in its operating profits by the sharp decline in its financial services activity, due in particular to the exceptional gains it achieved in the previous year.

But its results were supported by its sales in video games thanks to the weak yen, as well as in cinema, where Sony says it has benefited from a greater number of theatrical releases and an increase in subscribers to its service from… flow From the Crunchyroll cartoon.

For the 2024/25 fiscal year starting April 1, Sony expects a further decline in its net profit (-4.7%) to 925 billion yen (5.5 billion euros) and sales (-5.5%).

PS5 sales decline

In particular, it expects a decline in sales of the PlayStation 5 console released in 2020, after it had already struggled to reach its goal of selling 21 million copies for the last financial year, a target that was lowered along the way.

“As we enter the second half of this console's life cycle, we expect PS5 sales to gradually decline,” admitted Naomi Matsuoka, vice president of the division.

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It said the target console sales volume for 2024/25 was set at 18 million units.

Earlier on Tuesday, the group announced the appointment of a duo to head Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE, the “PlayStation Division”), succeeding Jim Ryan, whose departure was announced last September at the end of March.

As of June 1, Japanese Hideaki Nishino and Dutchman Hermen Holst will hold the position of General Manager of SIE, respectively for PlayStation Products and Services and Game Development Studios, positions they have already held in reality.

They will have to work to revitalize the PlayStation subsidiary, which announced at the end of February that it was cutting 900 jobs, or 8% of its global workforce.

The announcement of these layoffs appears to have led to a decline in sales. “I think consumers are hesitant to buy PS5,” analyst Hideki Yasuda of Toyo Securities told AFP in an interview before Sony’s results.

Sony remains silent about Paramount

Sony's chief operating and financial officer, Hiroki Totoki, on Tuesday declined to comment on press reports stating that the Japanese group wants to join forces with the American investment fund Apollo to obtain an offer to buy the media and television company Paramount Global Entertainment, with some media reported an amount of $ 26 billion. American.

The acquisition of Paramount, which in addition to its film production owns television channels such as CBS or MTV and Canal flow Paramount+ would make Sony Pictures Entertainment more powerful, while the Japanese conglomerate recently suffered a setback in India, where its proposed merger with Zee Entertainment collapsed.

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“We believe Sony is interested in Paramount+ for its licenses, such as film and television, and for opportunities to create synergies with Sony's gaming, animation and music businesses.”

However, Sony expects a 5.5% increase in its operating profit in 2024/25, thanks to the performance of its image sensor division, which should be driven by demand for mobile devices.

The group also announced on Tuesday the division of its shares into five in order to increase its liquidity, a process that will take effect on October 1, in addition to a program to buy back its shares for a total amount of 250 billion yen ($1.5 billion). billion euros).

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