Sony Corp. on Thursday cut its profit forecast after
it posted a net loss of 24.6 billion yen ($313.9 million) in
the April-to-June quarter because of the yen's strength, falling
demand for its products and restructuring costs.
Japan's biggest exporter of consumer electronics trimmed its net profit outlook for the current financial year, which ends March 31, to 20 billion yen, compared with 30 billion yen it had predicted in May as it sees its sales eroded by the strong yen, the global economic downturn and competitors Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co.
Sony cut its operating profit forecast for the year to 130 billion yen from 180 billion yen projected three months ago while sales were now predicted at 6.8 trillion yen, down from 7.4 trillion yen.
The company once known as the world's electronics innovator now lags behind its rivals in producing must-have gadgets, resulting in four-straight years of annual losses and a restructuring under Kazuo Hirai, who replaced Howard Stringer as president and chief executive on April 1.
Sony's loss in the first quarter rose nearly 60 per cent from the same period last year when the maker of PlayStation gaming consoles went 15.5 billion yen into the red.
Sony said it booked an operating profit of 6.28 billion yen for this year's first quarter, down from 27.5 billion yen a year earlier, while its sales edged up 1.4 per cent to 1.52 trillion yen.
Sony said its quarterly sales of liquid crystal display televisions dropped 26.5 per cent to 3.6 million units, but the company said its operating loss in that business segment narrowed as it focused on improving profitability and reducing costs.
"The transformation of profit structure is proceeding more than we had expected," vice president Shiro Kanbe said.
Hirai, a fluent English speaker who oversaw the company's consumer electronics and video games divisions, vowed to turn the business around when he took Sony's top post.
Sony then announced it would slash 10,000 jobs worldwide, or about 6 per cent of its workforce. Hirai said the company would strengthen its core electronics business and step up restructuring.
Shares in Sony closed up 2.44 per cent to 964 yen Thursday, down 69 per cent from last year's high of 3,105 yen on February 22, 2011.
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