Sony warns of first operating loss in 14 years
Forecasts $2.9bn hole
Sony has warned it will report its first operating loss in 14 years, as sliding demand for its products, plunging LCD television prices, and a stronger ¥ force the consumer giant to make drastic cost-cutting measures.
Thursday, the company announced a major reversal of fortune from an earlier forecast for its fiscal year, ending March 31, 2009.
Sony said it now expects an operating loss of ¥260bn ($2.92bn, £2.11bn) for the year, down from an October forecast of a ¥200bn ($2.24bn, £1.62bn) profit.
Net income is expected to be a loss of ¥150bn ($1.69bn, £1.22bn) for the year, down from its earlier projection of a ¥150bn profit.
Electronics: Electronics income is expected to be ¥340bn lower than the operating loss forecast in October. Sony blames ¥250bn's worth of trouble on the slowing global economy and greater price competition, ¥40bn on the appreciate of yen, ¥30bn on restructuring charges, and the remaining ¥20bn on loss of income of affiliated companies.
Games: In the gaming segment, income will be ¥30bn less than previously forecast. About ¥15bn is attributed to the stronger yen, and ¥15bn on lower-than-expected sales. Sony's Playstation 3 console currently trails behind both the Nintendo Wii and Microsoft's Xbox 360 in sales.
Pictures: Operating income for Sony Pictures is expected to be ¥13bn lower than previously forecast due to restructuring charges, the economic slowdown, and the appreciation of the yen.
Sony announced in December plans to shut down at least five production sites and lay of 8,000 workers to reduce costs by about 100bn yen by March 2010. Sony now intends not only to accelerate its plans, but more than double the cost-cutting target to 250bn yen by reducing costs in its game, music, and picture business.
Additional cost-cutting measures announced today include plans to close TV design and production at its plant in Ichinomiya, Japan and consolidate the operations at another factory, while reducing its TV design headcount by 30 per cent worldwide by 2010. The company also plans to outsource some of its TV software development to off-shore vendors such as India.
To help reduce the headcount, Sony plans to introduce an early retirement program for employees.
Executive bonuses for the fiscal year will be "substantially reduced." Sony's top executives including CEO Howard Stringer will forgo their entire bonus for the fiscal year.
Sony will announce its official tally of operating results on January 29, 2009. ®
Hardly a surprise
Sony haven't been fairing to well, I'd say, for at least a couple of years. They do produce good kit in some areas but fail in others and when it is good it's usually a tad too expensive.
It probably doesn't help that all the other departments are keeping the PS3 business alive, I presume they are still selling each unit at a loss.
Light blue touch paper. He he!
Sony: They've not done anything wrong towards me, and make great pieces of kit. Yes expensive, but still great. I wonder what other organsiations have the same R&D going on for all their depts. I think I can count them on one finger..
Mine's the one with the "SCE" logo on the back, with the PSP in the breast pocket, a 1980s walkman in the inside pocket, and a Sonycam in the the left outter pocket. Oh, there might be a copy of the Sony Magazine in the right outter pocket..
Products and formats...
I think Sony's problem is illustrated by their latest portable. Take the cheap netbook format and then produce something costing three times as much.
I used to buy Sony products but stopped when their obcession with propriety formats started. They know where they can stuff their memory sticks.