Sony earnings disappoint as its gaming and smartphone businesses look weaker 

Sony earnings disappoint as its gaming and smartphone businesses look weaker 

Sony reported lower than expected profits on Friday as the Japanese company faces a plunge in sales of its smartphones and the end of the lifecycle of its PlayStation 4 games console.

The company said that operating profit in the final quarter of 2018 rose 7.5pc to 376.99bn yen (£2.6bn), below the 383.67bn yen figure expected by analysts.

Sony’s video games business has suffered recently due to its ageing PlayStation 4 console, which was released in 2013, becoming less popular globally.

Chief financial officer Hiroki Totoki said on Friday that “hardware sales dropped to 8.1m units in the quarter, but that’s meeting our expectations for a console entering its sixth year”. 

Sony chief executive Kenichiro Yoshida said last year that the company was developing a new games console, and Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad said in January that “PS5 dev kits are out there and I’ve heard positive things about it”. “But I wouldn’t expect any information in the immediate future,” he added. 

Profits in Nintendo’s gaming business dropped 14pc, Sony said on Friday. Continuing sales of software, including console-exclusive titles that are not available on Microsoft’s Xbox console, have failed to offset the drop in hardware sales.

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