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SONY PROFITS DROP 32 PERCENT
Launch Of PlayStation2, Strong Yen, Attack By Gargantuan Lizard-Like Creature Blamed For Slump

Sony Corp. said on Friday its profits sagged 32 percent in the last business year, sapped by a strong yen and costs of launching its new PlayStation 2 game console.

The slump in consolidated net profit for a second year in a row, widely expected by analysts, came despite a strong performance in the electronics sector in the latter half of the year.

The company expects net profit to be little changed in the business year just started on April 1, although it forecast operating profit would rise 6 percent.

Sony posted a consolidated net profit of 121.84 billion yen ($1.14 billion) for 1999-00, which ended on March 31, compared with 179 billion yen a year earlier. Sony's profits are calculated under U.S. accounting rules.

On a consolidated operating basis, Sony's profits for 1999-00 were down 31 percent at 240.63 billion yen, compared with 348.21 billion yen the previous business year.

Sony's earnings report came out shortly before the Tokyo market closed.

Sony said earlier on Friday an affiliate, Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., expected to post a $950 million special loss for the year to next March related to changes in U.S. accounting rules governing movie advertising costs. Analysts said the loss was expected and had already been factored into their forecasts.

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