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Sony targets $11bn sales by 2018

Breaking_BadSony Corp. plans to use its growing television business to spearhead a revival in its entertainment business and push revenues for the division to US$11 billion.

Revealing financial targets to investors in Japan, the electronics and content giant said it wanted Sony Pictures Entertainment to bring in between US$10 billion and US$11 billion by March 31, 2018. It is also targeting profit margins of between 7-8%.

Kazuo HiraiSPE comprises Sony’s film and TV operations. Sony predicted the division’s revenues for this current financial year, which ends in Japan at end-March, for US$8.1 billion.

This would be achieved through focusing on programme production and focus on its TV networks business at Sony Pictures Television, and a focus on blockbuster movies.

“We are positioning our television and movie and movie production businesses as growth sectors for Sony,” said Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai (pictured).

SPT has been credited with growing revenues during a difficult period for the parent company, which has suffered primarily from losses at its electronics operation, which counts game console PlayStation 4 among its assets.

SPT’s TV productions include AMC’s mega-hit Breaking Bad (pictured top) and NBC crime drama The Blacklist, and it also distributes Netflix political comedy-drama House of Cards and legal thriller Damages.

Sony also revealed it has increased a targeted saving of US$250 million announced last year to around US$300 million. These annual savings are expected to be implemented by March 31, 2016.

Sony is also targeting growth at its music publishing business. “The entertainment businesses have been profitable for 18 consecutive years; they are a steady source of income for Sony,” said Hirai.

Sony has issued a number of profit warnings this year. Investor Daniel Loeb, who owned around 20% of Sony, urged directors to split the entertainment and electronics businesses in two, but old his Third Point LLC hedge fund’s shares in the group in October.