News Column

Sony sinks to $1.3B quarterly loss on PC expenses

May 13, 2014



TOKYO (AP) — Sony Corp. sank to a 138 billion yen ($1.3 billion) quarterly loss due to expenses from exiting its personal computer business and is forecasting more red ink as it struggles to execute a long-promised turnaround.

The Tokyo-based maker of the PlayStation 4 game machine, Bravia TVs and Walkman digital player also reported Wednesday a loss of 128.4 billion yen ($1.3 billion) for the fiscal year through March 2014, about three times its loss of 41.5 billion yen the previous year. It forecast a 50 billion yen loss for the year ending March 2015.

Earlier this month, Sony said it would report a bigger annual loss than earlier forecast because of costs related to selling its Vaio PC business. It also suffered a drop in the value of its overseas disc manufacturing business and its battery business.

Sony has lost much of the cachet that stemmed from once being at the cutting edge of consumer electronics. In recent years it has fallen behind in digital recorders and flat-panel TVs while also facing competition from a host of new players that can make appliances at lower costs.

In gadgetry, it is American rival Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea that have dazzled with their innovations, not Sony.

In February, Sony announced it would withdraw from the PC business, despite the popularity of the Vaio brand among some Sony fans, especially in Japan.

The deal to sell Vaio to a Japanese conglomerate was signed earlier this month and the transaction is set to be completed in July.

Sony's red ink is flowing despite an improvement in sales, which rose 14 percent to 7.7 trillion yen ($76 billion) for the fiscal year.

It is also struggling despite the perk that Japanese exporters such as Sony get from a favorable exchange rate, which boosts the value of overseas earnings. The dollar has strengthened over the past year to about 102 yen from 80 yen.

Sony said it trimmed losses at its TV operations, which have been struggling for nearly a decade, a big problem for a company that had built its reputation on the fantastic image quality of its TVs.

Sony is splitting off its money-losing TV division to run it as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at twitter.com/yurikageyama


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Source: Associated Press


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