Officials from Sony have announced details of the company’s fourth quarter results, for the period ended March 31st, which show a ¥66.5 billion ($578.7m) loss, more than the ¥56.5 billion ($491.7m) loss at the same time last year, even though the company's game division, which produces the PS2, PSP, and software for the two machines, still showed a profit.
Restructuring expenses of ¥75.3 billion ($655.3m) were blamed for the weak results - these expenses increased from ¥48.6 billion ($422.9m) in the previous year. Quarterly sales rose 8.7 percent to ¥1.85 trillion ($16.10bn), although much of this improvement was due to gains made from the currently weak yen.
For the firm's still-profitable games division, profits fell by 79.7 percent to ¥8.7 billion ($75.7m), although sales rose by 31.4 percent to ¥958.6 billion ($8.34bn). Hardware sales for the PSP were described as enjoying a significant increase worldwide, with PlayStation 2 hardware sales on par with the previous year. Software sales for the PlayStation 2 were down, but the increase in PSP sales meant overall software figures were relatively unchanged.
For the fiscal year as a whole, the company saw profits of ¥123.6 billion ($1.08bn), down 24.5 percent from ¥163.8 billion ($1.43bn) in fiscal 2004. The company has forecast a ¥130 billion ($1.13bn) profit for the new fiscal year, up 5 percent from the current results, on a sales increase of 10 percent to ¥8.2 trillion ($71.36bn).
The company also indicated that it expects its game division to post a loss of around ¥100 billion ($870.6m) for that year, hit by start-up costs for the PlayStation 3 which the company is assumed to be initially selling at a loss.