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Sony Posts $841 Million Loss For First Quarter

TOKYO — Sony Corporation posted a loss of $841 million for the first quarter ended June 30 due mostly to a one-time write-off of movie advertising costs. It also cut its consolidated earnings forecasts for the year ending March 2001

The loss for the quarter was 88.29 billion yen versus a profit of 18.427 billion yen during the same time last year. Operating income for the quarter was down 20.1 percent to $321 million with sales up 5.4 percent to $1.49 billion. Income before taxes was $373 million, down 8.6 percent.

In electronics, sales increased 25 percent and operating income jumped a gaudy 702 percent due to higher sales in all geographic areas and improved profitability resulting from higher sales for products. Sony noted that sales of computers, digital still cameras, color TVs, home stereos and DVD video players increased worldwide and in the United States.

In the game market, first quarter sales were “almost flat” on a local currency basis and there was an operating loss worldwide. In the United States, sales of PlayStation hardware and software decreased significantly due to supply shortages reflecting tightness of certain parts, the company said. Sales decreased 6.3 percent to $1.026 billion and operating losses were $153 million.

Worldwide shipments of PlayStation hardware were 630,000 for the first quarter compared with 3.98 million the previous year, resulting in cumulative shipments of 73.55 million units as of June 30, 2000. Worldwide shipments of PlayStation 2 hardware were 1.13 million units for the first quarter resulting in cumulative shipments of 2.54 million by the quarter’s end. Worldwide shipments of PlayStation software were 20 million for the first quarter versus 32 million during last year at the same time. Worldwide shipments of PlayStation 2 software were 1.7 million units for the quarter.

Sony forecasts that due to the adoption of new film accounting standards net income for the fiscal year will decrease by $968 million reflecting a one-time non-cash cumulative effect. In addition, due to the new accounting standards Sony expects operating income, income before taxes and net income to decrease by $250 million to $280 million each.