Fourth quarter results for Sony Corp. have shown a 4.5% decrease in earnings by its Computer Entertainment division to ¥367 billion ($3.4bn), for the period ended December 31. Operating revenues were also down 1.6% to ¥70.5 billion ($659m).
A large proportion of this drop in profits is attributed to research and development costs for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable (PSP) consoles. Nevertheless PlayStation 2 console sales were down 15% from 8.03 million units to 6.83 million units, year-on-year.
Software sales however were still on the rise with the fourth quarter of 2003 seeing the highest ever sales of PlayStation 2 games, with an increase of 32% world-wide – from 79 million units in 2002 to 104 million units in 2003.
Overall the Sony Group reported a 26.2% drop in net profits for the third quarter, down from ¥125.4 billion ($1.2bn) to ¥92.6 billion ($866m). Net profit estimates for the year rose though to ¥55 billion ($519.2m), with a strong euro shoring up profits lost by the strong yen.