Wed, Apr 11, 2012 - Page 10 News List

Sony more than doubles net loss forecast to ¥520bn

AFP, TOKYO

Sony Corp yesterday said it would book a net loss of about ¥520 billion (US$6.4 billion) in the fiscal year that ended last month, more than double its previous forecast of ¥220 billion amid sweeping changes at the struggling electronics giant.

Sony’s earlier net loss forecast was itself more than twice as much as the ¥90 billion loss it had predicted it would lose before raising the figure in February.

The electronics company said the latest increase in its forecast loss — its fourth consecutive year in the red — was mainly due to a tax charge tied to its assets in the US, but it did not elaborate.

“In the fourth quarter of the fiscal year, we will book an additional tax cost of about ¥300 billion ... for a deferred income tax asset in the United States,” Sony said in a statement.

Sony kept its sales forecast and operating loss outlook unchanged at ¥6.4 trillion and ¥95 billion respectively.

The announcement came just days before Sony’s new chief executive is expected to outline some of the changes seen as necessary to turn around the iconic firm.

Earlier this year, Sony shed its Welsh-born US chief executive Howard Stringer, who was replaced by his protege, Kazuo Hirai, as the firm faced continuing losses at its struggling television unit.

On Monday, a report in the leading Nikkei Shimbun business daily said Sony would chop 10,000 jobs worldwide this year as it attempts to carry out sweeping reforms, or about 6 percent of its work force.

The company’s top seven executives, including its outgoing chief, would also give up their annual bonus, it said.

Sony declined to comment on the report, which did not give further details of the reductions from Sony’s headcount, which stood at about 168,000 employees as of March last year.

Separately, Sharp Corp is likely to report a net loss of nearly ¥400 billion for the fiscal year that ended last month, a report said yesterday.

Slackness in its mainstay LCD television business will drag the numbers below the earlier forecast loss of ¥290 billion, Jiji Press reported, without naming its sources.

The firm will announce its full-year earnings report on April 27.

Last month, Sharp announced a deal with Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) as part of an LCD panel tie-up as it looks to reverse recent losses.

Sharp said in February it expected to lose ¥290 billion for the year to March, reversing an earlier projection of a ¥6 billion net profit.

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