Sony Corp., the parent company of Sony Pictures Entertainment, reported that first-quarter net income for the period ended June 30 plunged 48.5% to $71.9 million.
The Tokyo-based consumer electronics and entertainment giant blamed the results on a poor economy in the United States and Europe and the rapid appreciation of the Japanese yen against major Western currencies.
For the quarter, Sony reported that total sales fell 10.4% to $7.7 billion and operating income declined 35.8% to $236.5 million.
But the company said that if the value of the yen had remained at the same level as last year, total sales would have been $1.2 billion higher and operating income would have increased another $458 million over the reported figures.
Sales of electronic equipment, including television and audio products, slipped 9.3% to $6.2 billion. Sales in the entertainment group, which includes Sony Music, Sony Pictures and Loews Theaters, fell 14.3% to $1.5 billion.
Sony said results in its Pictures group were unfavorably affected by comparisons to the year-earlier period, when the studio reported an "unusually high" performance because of the hit "Basic Instinct." Box office results for current hits "In the Line of Fire" and "Sleepless in Seattle" will not show up until the second quarter, an official said.