Sony expects record annual loss | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 10.04.2012
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Sony expects record annual loss

Japanese consumer electronics producer Sony has said it will book a much greater net loss for the past fiscal year than estimated in February. The period under revision ending on March 31 was marred by tax write-downs.

Japanese electronics company Sony announced on Tuesday that its net losses for the past financial year could reach 520 billion yen ($6.4 billion, 4.9 billion euros), more than doubling its previous projected loss, made public in February. The company has recorded a net loss for the past four consecutive years.

Sony said that the more negative outlook was mainly due to massive write-downs of deferred tax assets in the US, totaling 300 billion yen.

"Due to the recording of this additional tax expense, net loss attributable to Sony's stockholders is expected to be significantly greater than the February forecast," the company announced at a press conference in Tokyo.

But even before the write-down, Sony had been well on course to end the current fiscal year with a net loss of around 220 billion yen. Management cited slumping television sales and output disruptions from last year's flooding in Thailand.

Restructuring and layoffs

The Tokyo-based maker of PlayStation games consoles and Bravia television sets maintained its operating loss projection at 95 billion yen, with sales put at 6.4 trillion yen.

Sony's readjusted forecasts came just days before the company's new chief executive, Kazuo Hirai, is expected to outline some of the "painful decisions and choices" he has in mind to turn the electronics giant around.

A report in the leading Nikkei business daily claimed Sony would slash 10,000 jobs worldwide by the end of 2012 as part of the proposed reforms. That would equate to about six percent of its global workforce.

The job cull would follow an earlier large-scale restructuring scheme which the company announced during the 2008 recession. Back then, Sony cut about 16,000 jobs.

hg/msh (AFP, dpa)