Fri, Nov 02, 2012 - Page 15 News List

Sony’s losses dip; Sharp, Panasonic see wider losses

AP, TOKYO

Sony Corp televisions are displayed at the company’s showroom in Tokyo, Japan, yesterday.

Photo: Bloomberg

Sony Corp yesterday reported a smaller flow of red ink for the fiscal second quarter on a sales recovery and restructuring efforts and stuck to its full-year forecast for a return to profit from its worst loss in company history the previous year.

The Japanese electronics and entertainment company recorded a ¥15.5 billion (US$193 million) loss for the July-September period, much better than the ¥27 billion loss racked up the same period the previous year. Quarterly sales improved 1.9 percent to ¥1.6 trillion yen.

The Tokyo-based maker of Bravia TVs and the PlayStation 3 game machine remains in deep trouble as does much of the Japanese electronics industry — slammed by cheaper competition in flat-panel TVs, and by Apple Inc of the US and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co in mobile devices.

Sony, which reported a record annual loss of ¥457 billion yen for the fiscal year ended March 31, its fourth straight year of red ink, stuck to its forecast to eke out a ¥20 billion profit for the current fiscal year.

Meanwhile, Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp reported its red ink for the fiscal first half, which jumped nearly 10-fold from the previous year to a loss of ¥388 billion yen.

Osaka-based Sharp did not break down quarterly results. It said it expected a ¥450 billion loss for the full fiscal year through March next year. That would follow massive losses it racked up the previous fiscal year.

Sharp also reduced its revenue forecast to ¥2.46 trillion from ¥2.5 trillion.

“Our business environment continued to be severe, due to drastic price drops of products and devices, production delay of new small- and medium-size LCD ... and a worse-than-expected drop in sales of LCD TVs in Japan and China,” Sharp said in a statement.

“Sales of LCD TVs fell drastically... This was due mainly to decreased demand in Japan and a drop in sales in China caused by deteriorating Japan-China relations,” it said.

On Wednesday, Panasonic Corp also reported massive losses and forecast a ¥765 billion loss for the fiscal year. That would mark the second straight fiscal year of massive losses for the maker of the Viera TVs and Lumix digital cameras.

Panasonic sank to a record loss of ¥772.2 billion for the fiscal year through March —among the biggest in Japan’s manufacturing history.

Panasonic shares nose-dived 19.45 percent to ¥414 in Tokyo trading yesterday, on the disastrous results delivered the day before.

Sony closed down 4.08 percent at ¥915 and Sharp fell 1.74 percent to ¥169.

The plight of Japanese electronics makers underlines their failure to be nimble with innovation at a time when cheaper rivals are able to come out with similar products very quickly.

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