Sony said Friday its nine-month net profit jumped 63.2 percent from the previous year, led by its games and music divisions. (AFP photo)

TOKYO: Sony said Friday its nine-month net profit jumped 63.2 percent from the previous year, led by its games and music divisions.

The electronics and entertainment giant lowered its annual sales forecast but raised its annual net profit forecast thanks to tax benefits.

Sony said its April-December net profit reached 828.4 billion yen ($7.6 billion).

Operating profit rose 13.9 percent to 811.5 billion yen, while sales reached 6.54 trillion yen, down 0.8 percent.

"Sony remains on recovery track," Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Research Institute in Tokyo, told AFP ahead of the announcement.

"Its game sector has continued spearheading its recovery although sales of PS4 consoles are gradually slowing down."

Sony's movie segment also drove home more profits, said Yasuo Imanaka, an analyst at Rakuten Securities.

"Its recent box-office movies are now generating profit through sales of DVD and Blu-ray discs as well as profits from their television license fees," he told AFP ahead of the announcement.

In the three months to December, including the all-important holiday shopping season, Sony said it continued to enjoy robust game software sales, although sales of PlayStation4 consoles slowed down.

EMI Music Publishing, now a Sony subsidiary, also contributed to profits, while the movie "Venom" added to the group's sales.

Sony said it had to downgrade its annual sales target to 8.5 trillion yen from an earlier projection for 8.7 trillion yen due to lower-than-expected sales of financial services, semiconductors, mobile gadgets and cameras.

But a one-off tax benefit allowed the firm to lift a net profit projection to 835 billion yen from the previous outlook for 705 billion yen. -- AFP