Sony nearly triples annual profit forecast

CHAMPAIGN, IL – APRIL 21: Sony Pictures Classics’ Michael Barker appears on Day 3 of Ebertfest 2017 on April 21, 2017 in Champaign, Illinois. Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images for Ebertfest/AFP Timothy Hiatt / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

Sony on Friday nearly tripled its annual net profit forecast, citing lower-than-expected costs in its chip business and other divisions, including the PlayStation games business.

The Tokyo-based firm is now expecting net profit of 73 billion yen ($668 million) for the fiscal year to March, well up from its last forecast of 26 billion yen.

The latest projection brings Sony closer to a 80 billion yen profit forecast issued in May last year.

It then cut it several times, including the last in February when it cited a nearly $1 billion writedown at its movie unit, restructuring costs and foreign exchange fluctuations.

Sony Pictures’ woes included box-office disappointments such as a reboot of the Eighties classic “Ghostbusters” with an all-female cast and “Inferno”, a sequel to the “Da Vinci Code”.

On Friday, Sony also upgraded its annual operating profit to 285 billion yen from an earlier 240 billion yen, and kept its revenue projection at 7.6 trillion yen.

“The forecast for consolidated operating income has been revised upward due to expected improvement, compared with the February forecast, in all segments other than the components segment, which is expected to deteriorate compared with the February forecast,” Sony said in a statement.

The company, which announces its full year data next week, has struggled through a painful restructuring that has included layoffs and asset sales after years of huge losses.

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