Sony posts $5.7 billion loss, vows return to black

Agence France-Presse

Posted at May 10 2012 03:48 PM | Updated as of May 11 2012 09:45 PM

TOKYO - Japanese electronics giant Sony on Thursday posted a massive full-year loss of $5.7 billion, but vowed it would swing back into the black this year as it embarks on a massive restructuring plan.

The 456.66 billion yen loss for the fiscal year to March, its fourth consecutive year in the red, comes after it said last month it would cut about 10,000 jobs and spend nearly $1.0 billion on an overhaul its new chief described as "urgent".

Sales for the year fell 9.6 percent on-year to 6.49 trillion yen, while the firm booked an operating loss of 67.28 billion yen.

Sony, which is struggling to stem losses at its television division, on Thursday said a strong yen and natural disasters were among the main reasons for its disastrous balance sheet.

"Sales decreased... primarily due to unfavourable foreign exchange rates, the impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake, and the floods in Thailand, and deterioration in market conditions in developed countries," it said in a statement.

The firm has also blamed tough competition and falling prices, particularly in the television segment, for its struggles.

However, it said it was on course to post a net profit of 30 billion yen in the current fiscal year ended March 2013, with operating profit of 180 billion yen on sales of 7.4 trillion yen.

Sony's latest yearly loss was lower than the 520 billion yen shortfall it forecast last month, although both figures are significantly higher than its 90 billion yen loss prediction in November.

Sony's reforms, in addition to the jobs cuts, also include expanding its PlayStation and online games business, and pushing further into emerging markets and new sectors, such as medical equipment and life sciences.

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