Sony releases 2020 report detailing COVID-19 impact

By William Smith
Japanese technology giant Sony has released its report for the year 2020, covering both financial and non-financial developments...

Japanese technology giant Sony has released its report for the year 2020, covering both financial and non-financial developments.

The report details the progress of the company’s three year plan, which began last year, to manage the company more sustainably and diversify its businesses.

In his opening remarks, CEO Kenichiro Yoshida, said: “Sony is a ‘creative entertainment company with a solid foundation of technology.’ As COVID-19 substantially changes the state of our society and the way people live, the approximately 110,000 worldwide employees of the Sony Group are committed to driving our businesses forward and our social mission of delivering Kando (emotion) to people, while keeping in mind Sony’s Purpose & Values and the Group’s shared management direction of ‘getting closer to people.’ Going forward, we will continue to manage Sony with a long-term view, and create value through our diverse businesses and operations.”

Financial results saw sales down 5%, and the same true for operating income - though it attributed this in part to COVID-19.

The company estimated the COVID-19 pandemic had had a ¥68.2bn (US$650mn) financial impact on its operating income in FY2019, ending 31 March 2020. The company’s CFO, Hiroki Totoki, said: “the impact of the pandemic goes beyond the short term. It is likely to significantly alter the social and economic environment worldwide and offer an opportunity to rethink current norms.”

Totoki also hailed the growth in importance of services, a factor common to many technology companies, such as Apple. He said: “A notable achievement in terms of business model has been the expansion of network services in the Game & Network Services (G&NS) segment. Previously known for its hardware businesses, Sony has never before achieved this level of growth in its services business. Our strategy to grow recurring revenue from direct to consumer services has been a success.” 

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