Parent Sony Corp. also shows gains.

Sony Corp. posted net income of 23.3 billion yen ($215 million) on sales of 1.6 trillion yen ($14.9 billion) in its fiscal first quarter, which ended June 30. The results represent a significant increase from the net income of 1.1 billion yen ($9 million) the company reported in the corresponding period last year; however, sales are up only 0.5%.

Sony's music operation reports sales up 1.5% to 118.8 billion yen ($1.1 billion) from 117 billion yen ($975 million) in first-quarter 2003. (On a U.S. dollar basis, that translates into a 12.8% increase.) Meanwhile, operating loss fell to 1.1 billion yen ($10 million) from 6 billion yen ($50 million) last year.

The company says sales at Sony Music Entertainment (which excludes Japan) were up 8% on a U.S. dollar basis. Operating loss declined 40% from the prior year due to higher sales resulting from stronger releases and the continued realization of benefits from the company’s worldwide restructuring.

Sales at Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) were up 7%, while its operating income improved significantly, although Sony did not reveal those numbers.