Sony posts Q1 profit jump on pandemic demand for devices and content
Customers at a Sony retail store in east China's Zhejiang Province. /CFP

Customers at a Sony retail store in east China's Zhejiang Province. /CFP

Sony raised its earnings outlook and reported a jump in first-quarter operating profit on Wednesday as pandemic-led demand boosted sales of PlayStation 5 consoles, cameras, music and movies.

The Japanese entertainment and consumer electronics giant now predicts a net profit of 700 billion yen ($6.4 billion) for the fiscal year to March 2022, up from its earlier estimate of 660 billion yen.

For the three months till June, net profit rose 9.4 percent year-on-year to 211.8 billion yen.

Sony left its annual sales forecast unchanged at 9.7 trillion yen after first-quarter sales gained 15.0 percent to 2.26 trillion yen.

Although COVID-19 hit many industries hard, the gaming sector was one of the few to benefit, with demand soaring as people sought distractions during long periods stuck at home.

Sony has benefited from strong demand for its PlayStation 5 games console. However, a shortage of semiconductors, which is also affecting the likes of Apple, means it cannot produce enough consoles to meet demand.

Sony in May said it expected to sell 14.8 million PS5 units in the fiscal year ending March 2022.

The company is also beefing up its entertainment content and distribution business. In December, it agreed to buy AT&T's animation business Crunchyroll with 3 million subscribers worldwide.

(With input from AFP, Reuters)

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