Sony Music's Revenue Bump Last Quarter Caused By Strong Dollar

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After removing gains from currency fluctuations, an 8.5-percent gain turns into a 3-percent loss.

With Megan Trainor's Title leading the way, music revenue for Sony Corp. rose 8.5 percent in the quarter ended June 30, according to the company's earnings release. However, revenue was down 3 percent at constant currency, which ignores the positive impact of the yen's devaluation against the dollar.

Revenue in the quarter was ¥130.2 billion ($1.05 billion), an increase from ¥120.0 billion yen a year earlier. Driven by the yen's depreciation against the dollar, exchange rate fluctuations had a positive 11-percent impact on revenue. The continued decline of recorded music sales, primarily in physical music formats, had an unspecified negative impact. The earnings release did not mention changes in streaming revenue.

Operating income jumped to ¥31.8 billion ($257 million) from 11.6 billion yen. A re-measurement of Sony Music Entertainment's equity interest in The Orchard resulted in a gain of ¥18.1 billion, or nearly 90 percent of the ¥20.2 billion-yen improvement.

Title was Sony's top-grossing album in the quarter. It was followed by Shogo Hamada's Journey of a Songwriter, Francis Cabrel's In Extremis and Mark Ronson's Uptown Special.

Sony Corp's total revenue was flat at ¥1,808 ($14.8 billion) while its operating income rose 38.8 percent to ¥96.9 ($676 million). Net income rose 206.7 percent to ?82.4 billion ($676 million). 

Revenue at Sony's pictures segment declined 11.9 percent to ¥171.5 million ($1.4 billion). It posted an operating loss of ¥11.7 billion ($95.9 million). Sony blamed the weak quarter on the strength of theatrical releases, namely The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and 22 Jump Street, in the prior-year quarter as well as lower television licensing revenue.