Although sales dipped 4.6 percent in Sony's Electronics segment during the fiscal third quarter — due to what the giant consumer electronics maker called "the severe operating environment" — the strong performance of video products, components and semiconductors resulted in an increase in the electronics segment operating income. Sony credited improvement in the segment's profit structure for the positive operating results.
Sales in the electronics segment for the three months, ended Dec. 31, were $12.2 billion, down from $12.8 billion in the year-ago period. Operating income climbed 14.1 percent, hitting $685 million in the third quarter, up from $600.8 million in the same quarter in 2001.
Sony's video sales increased 3 percent, reaching $2.14 billion in the third quarter, compared with $2.09 billion in the same three months the previous year. Television sales edged up 1.1 percent in the three months, to $2.37 billion, from $2.32 billion.
Audio sales in the third quarter, however, were off 9.6 percent, down to $1.8 billion, from $2 billion year over year.
Despite lower sales for its electronics segment, parent Sony recorded an overall sales increase and record net profit in the third quarter, helped a great deal by success of its PlayStation2 and blockbuster movies like "Spider-Man."
Consolidated Sony sales for the third quarter edged up 1.2 percent, reaching $19.2 billion, climbing from $19 billion in the same three months the previous year. Consolidated net income for the quarter took a 95.9 percent leap, hitting $1 billion, up from $537.5 million in the third quarter of 2001.
PlayStation2's strong market position, further strengthened by a large increase in unit sales of both PlayStation2 hardware and software during the third quarter, helped Sony's game segment increase sales to $3.20 billion, up from $3.17 billion in the third quarter of 2001. Operating income for the games segment in the third quarter increased 7.9 percent, hitting $597 million, compared with $553.6 million in the year-ago three months.
Overall Sony sales in the United States fell 3.4 percent in the third quarter, down to $6.2 billion, from $6.4 billion in the same quarter in 2001.
For the nine months, electronics segment sales slipped 2.9 percent, to $32.6 billion, compared with $33.7 billion the previous year. Electronics income for the nine months, more than doubled, hitting $1.3 billion, up from $420 million in the same period in 2001.
Television sales for the nine months jumped 7 percent, to $5.6 billion, up from $5.1 billion in the same nine months in 2001, while nine-month video sales increased 4.2 percent, to $5.6 billion. This compares with 2001 nine-month video dollar volume of $5.3 billion. Audio sales for the nine months, however, dropped 8.4 percent, to $4.6 billion, compared with $5 billion year over year.
Game segment sales for the nine months, edged up 0.9 percent, reaching $6.6 billion, up from $6.3 billion year over year. Operating income increased 47 percent, to $825 million for the nine months, compared with $564.5 million in the same time frame the previous year.
Overall sales in the United States for the nine months rose 1.9 percent, to $16 billion, up from $15.6 billion in the same period the previous year.
Nine-month consolidated Sony sales increased 2.2 percent, to $48.5 billion, up from $47.8 billion in the same period in 2001. Net income for the period soared, to $1.9 billion, compared with $175 million in the same nine months year over year.