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Sony SWOT and PESTLE Analysis

ID : 52314953| Dec 2019| 15 pages

COMPANY PROFILE -Sony Corporation

Business Sector :Consumer Electronics, Conglomerate

Operating Geography :Global,Japan

About Sony Corporation :

Sony is a Japanese multinational headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The company is into multiple and diverse businesses such as consumer electronics, gaming and financial services. Sony stood at 105th in Fortune Global rankings in 2017 and has around 128,400 employees globally as of 2017. Established in Japan in May 1946 as Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha, Sony was a joint stock company (Kabushiki Kaisha) under Japanese law. In January 1958, it changed its name to Sony Kabushiki Kaisha (“Sony Corporation” in English). It featured on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) in In December 1958 and in 1970 also got listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”). Sony was ranked 97th on the 2018 Fortune Global 500 list.
Sony Corp’s mission statement reads “A Company that inspires and fulfills your curiosity”. Sony’s vision statement reads “Using our unlimited passion for technology, content and services to deliver groundbreaking new excitement and entertainment, as only Sony can”. The Company’s founder’s vision was “To establish of an ideal factory that stresses a spirit of freedom and open-mindedness, and where engineers with sincere motivation can exercise their technological skills to the highest level” at first chapter. He also mentioned “To reconstruct Japan and to elevate the nation's culture through dynamic technological and manufacturing activities”, “To rapidly commercialize superior technological findings in universities and research institutions that are worthy of application in common households”, and “To promote the education of science among the general public”. Sony’s USP lies in being the leading manufacturers of electronic products for the consumer and professional markets, and a leading player in the film and television industry. The Company also owns the largest music entertainment business in the world and is sales leader in the semiconductor industry.

Sony Corporation Revenue :

8,543,982 Million Yen – FY ending 31st March 2018 (y-o-y growth 12.4%)
7,603,250 Million Yen – FY ending 31st March 2017
8,105,712 Million Yen – FY ending 31st March 2016

Competitive Analysis of Sony Corporation

The SWOT Analysis for Sony is presented below:
1. Rich competency in product differentiation and high value added models
2. Strong recurring business revenues
3. PS4 hardware cost reductions due to adept research and development
4. Growth in licensing revenues, streaming and broadcasting
1. Higher marketing expenses for media networks and motion pictures
2. Sony does not own any major US broadcast networks
3. Pictures segment not up to the mark of the target set by the company
4. Incurring high restructuring costs
1. Huge demand of Gaming & Network services, especially for PS4
2. Market shifting to value added models in Home entertainment e.g. 4K televisions
3. Increasing demand for recorded music and digital streaming
4. Strong growth in Semiconductor and image sensors division
1. Fluctuations in foreign exchange rates
2. Frequent earthquakes in Japan
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Detailed SWOT Analysis of Sony Corporation


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1. Higher marketing expenses for media networks and motion pictures: Being in the Media network and motion pictures business, Sony Corp incurs a large marketing expenditure. For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, cost of sales increased 435.2 billion yen year-on-year to 5,188.3 billion yen. In fact in July, 2018, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Motion Picture Group announced a staff layoff in its marketing and distribution departments as part of a reorganization. The following three categories, Motion Pictures, Television Productions, and Media Networks categories creates Sony’s Pictures. The Pictures segment's clocked operating losses of $80.5 billion in FY 2017, compared to operating income of $38.5 billion in FY 2016. This substantial decline in operating results was primarily due to $962 million ($112.1 billion) impairment charge of goodwill. The operating results for the Pictures segment were also negatively hit, primarily due to higher programming and marketing expenses for Media Networks as well as higher theatrical marketing expenses for Motion Pictures.

2. Sony does not own any major US broadcast networks: Sony Corp is at a great disadvantage for not having a broadcast network of its own. Unlike other premium media majors including NBC Universal, Walt Disney Co. and News Corp.'s Fox, Sony lacks a U.S. broadcast network or cable channel to display what it produces from its own stables. Left without a choice, the Japanese-owned movie and TV studio mogul produces shows for broadcasting on other U.S. networks, such as "Rescue Me" on FX and "Rules of Engagement" on CBS. Sony does realize the perils and banes of this strategy and is taking corrective steps. The media conglomerate has started to own cable networks in some overseas markets, such as India and Latin America and has been buying stakes in European TV production firms, such as Elisabeth Murdoch's Shine Reveille Ltd. Sony owns 50% of the Game Show Network, a cable channel widely available in U.S. households. In Aug, 2018, Sony announced the addition of 200 local broadcast stations for the big four networks — ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC — to its PlayStation Vue TV subscription service. Additionally, Sony added ESPN College Extra as an optional add-on service for Vue, for the sports fans.

3. Pictures segment not up to the mark of the target set by the company: The Pictures segment of Sony Corp. is highly dependent on third-party exhibitors to distribute its motion pictures, and cable, satellite and other distribution systems to distribute its motion pictures and television programming; a decline in the licensing fees received from these third parties may adversely affect the Pictures segment’s sales. The Pictures segment’s worldwide television networks are also distributed on third-party cable, satellite and other distribution systems and the failure to renew, or renewal on less favorable terms of, television carriage contracts (broadcasting agreements) with these third-party distributors may adversely affect the Pictures segment’s ability to generate advertising and subscription sales through these networks.

4. Incurring high restructuring costs: Sony is implementing restructuring and transformation initiatives to enhance profitability, business autonomy and shareholder value and to clearly position each business within the overall business portfolio. For example, Sony transferred its battery business to Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. Group in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018. The expected benefits of these initiatives, including the expected level of profitability, may not be realized due to internal and external impediments or market conditions worsening beyond expectations. Sony incurred restructuring charges in the amount of 38.3 billion yen, 60.2 billion yen and 22.4 billion yen in the fiscal years ended March 31, 2016, 2017 and 2018, respectively.


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Key Business Segments / Diversification :

Sony Corporation
Game & Network Services (G&NS) Pictures Home Entertainment & Sound (HE&S)
Imaging Products & Solutions (IP&S) Mobile Communications (MC)
Music Semiconductors Financial Services
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Check Out Analysis of Other Relevant Companies

References used in Sony Corporation Analysis Report

1. Sony financial holdings Inc. 2018 annual report -

2. AEGON Sony life annual report 2017 -

3. Sony financial holdings -

4. Sony Q2 FY 2019 Consolidated financial results – Sony Corporation -

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Sony SWOT and PESTLE analysis has been conducted and reviewed by senior analysts from Barakaat Consulting.

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