Sony was meant to announce its third quarter earnings today, but since the catastrophic cyberattack directed at Sony Pictures took out much of its accounting equipment, the company is only able to issue approximate guidance for now. And there’s at least some good news: the company estimates it made a net profit of ¥89 billion ($756 million) between October and December, up 238 percent from a year earlier.
Operating profit is forecast at ¥178.3 billion ($1.51 billion), and revenue is expected to have increased 6 percent year on year to ¥2.56 trillion ($21.7 billion). Sony has revised its forecast for the financial year ending in March; it still expects to make a net loss, but now estimates that it will be ¥170 billion ($1.44 billion) after previously predicting ¥230 billion.
More layoffs hit the mobile division
The Xperia smartphone business continues to struggle; Sony is laying off 2,100 workers by March 2016 having previously announced 1,000 cuts, meaning the division will shrink by around 30 percent in total. Sales were actually up slightly year on year with a small operating profit, but new mobile chief Hiroki Totoki is implementing a restructuring plan designed to streamline the company's smartphone strategy.
4K sets have boosted Sony’s TV business, meanwhile, helping it turn a profit for three straight months for the first time in over a decade. The gaming division continues to perform well, with strong PlayStation 4 sales and income from network services driving a 17 percent increase in revenue. Sales have also been helped across the board by a weaker yen.
Sony Pictures posts slim projected profit
The cyberattack itself, which authorities believe was orchestrated by North Korea, hasn’t made much impact on Sony’s bottom line. Sony is putting aside 15 million dollars (¥1.8 billion) in "investigation and remedial costs" connected to the hack and, despite a projected 11.7 percent decrease in revenue put down to fewer home entertainment releases and less box-office take, Sony Pictures still made a slim estimated operating profit of ¥2.4 billion ($20.4 million) for the quarter.