Girl Power Boosts Sony-BMG

A significant part of Sony-BMG’s huge increase in Q4 profits is thanks to best-selling albums from Alicia Keys, Leona Lewis and Avril Lavigne.

Along with the savings made on a $67 million restructuring process and lower marketing costs, the girl power factor saw profits almost double to $178 million.

The company said it had also benefited from favourable currency fluctuations, although Sony Corp – the Tokyo-based parent company – has warned it expects group profits will tumble more than 20 percent this year, partly because a strengthening yen will hammer down the earnings of Japanese exporters.

Sony is expecting the dollar to trade at about 100 yen for the fiscal year, down from the 114 it averaged last year.

For the year ending 2009, Sony expects profit to slide by a fifth to $2.8 billion, with sales increasing 1 percent to $86 billion.

For Q4 it reported net income of $3.72 billion on $89.4 billion worth of sales, compared with $1.04 billion in net income on sales of $70.4 billion in the same quarter last year.

The parent company’s results were also helped by reduced losses on the struggling PlayStation 3 video game system, selling its former Tokyo HQ and not having to suffer the expense of the massive battery recall that hit the company the previous year.