Division Returns to Profitability Amid Not-So-Nice News From Rest of Company
Amid slumping results for Sony Corp’s electronics, games and movie divisions, Sony Music Entertainment reported operating profit of 19 billion yen ($182 million) for the fiscal year ending March 31.

The strong showing turns around last year’s 7.0 billion yen ($72.8 million) loss and is the result of a year of financial housecleaning and cost-cutting by CEO Andrew Lack, now at his post for a year and a quarter.

As a whole, Sony narrowed its fourth-quarter loss to 38.2 billion yen ($352 million) from 111 billion yen a year earlier. For the year, the company reported net profit of 88.5 billion yen ($815.16 million), down from 115.5 billion yen a year earlier.

Sony’s cornerstone electronics business saw a loss of 35.3 billion yen ($325 million) for the year, compared to a 41.4 billion yen profit a year earlier, due to heavy downward pressure on prices and ongoing restructuring costs.

In the games division, profit fell by 40% to 67.6 billion yen ($623 million) for the year, from 113 billion yen a year before. Sony cited increase R&D costs and sagging console sales as reasons for the sharp decline. Similarly, movie division profit fell 40.3% to 35.2 billion yen ($324 million) from 59.0 billion yen the previous year, owing largely to not having a hit to match 2002’s Spider Man.

Music figures into a slew of new products that Sony Chairman Nobuyuki Idei says the company is hoping will boost earnings this year. Among those products are portable entertainment systems and Sony’s Connect online music store.