Biz Briefs

Apr 28, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Sony Corp. last week posted 2002 fiscal year net profits of 115.15 billion yen ($961.1 million), much lower than Sony’s own forecast of 180 billion yen. Profits were propelled by cost cutting at its electronics division as well as by results at its Sony Pictures Entertainment and video game units. Sony said the TV business contributed to the bottom line through cost reductions, which included releasing fewer new network TV shows.

Sony’s overall profit for the 2003 fiscal year is projected to tumble to 50 billion yen ($417.3 million) while sales remain flat.

Viacom Buying Rest of Comedy Central

Viacom said last week that it would pay $1.225 billion to acquire from AOL Time Warner the 50 percent of cable channel Comedy Central it doesn’t already own in a cash deal the company expects to contribute to the bottom line in the first year of operations. The deal, which Viacom hopes to close by the end of the second quarter, helps AOL off-load some debt and at the same time strengthens Viacom’s stable of cable assets, further diversifying the company’s revenue streams.

MGM Posts Reduced Loss

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer posted a reduced first-quarter loss of $55.8 million, or 22 cents a share, vs. a loss of $90.8 million, or 37 cents, a year earlier. Revenue was up 25 percent, thanks to higher DVD sales, television earnings and modest box-office returns from the film Agent Cody Banks, the company said.

MGM said it was on track to meet its forecast for cash flow of $100 million to $150 million in 2003.