TOKYO, Nov 18:

Sony Corp said it is aiming to lift its movie and TV revenue by more than a third in the next three years as it cuts costs and invests in potential hit films, including a new Spider-Man movie.

Loss-making Sony has been under pressure to show its entertainment business can be a stronger contributor to growth after rejecting last year a proposal by US hedge fund Third Point to spin off the segment, and as its mobile division flounders.

Sony Pictures Entertainment aims to garner between US$10 billion (RM33.48 billion) to US$11 billion in the financial year ending in March 2018, an increase of as much as 36% over the US$8.1 billion forecast for this business year.

Sony Pictures Entertainment’s recent box office hits include The Amazing Spider-Man, while its popular television production titles include Breaking Bad.

“We are creating, acquiring and distributing the best content across our lines of businesses and around the world,” Sony Entertainment chief executive officer Michael Lynton told an investors’ conference.

Lynton added that the segment is set to realise US$300 million in annual cost savings by the end of March 2016.

It would target an operating profit margin between 7% and 8% in the year ending March 2018, up from the 6.6% forecast for this business year, he said.

Sony also said it is aiming for revenue of US$4.8 billion to US$5.2 billion from its music division in three years time, which compares with a forecast of US$4.8 billion for the current financial year.

Last month, Sony posted a smaller-than-expected second-quarter operating loss, hailed by its finance chief as proof that the Japanese group’s restructuring programme is paying off.

The firm said however that its mobile division is heading for a ¥204 billion (RM5.88 billion) loss this financial year.

Sony chief executive Kazuo Hirai, who was appointed in 2012 and is facing pressure after the company suspended dividends for the first time since going public, told the conference that he plans to set mid-term growth targets for the whole company before the end of March.

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