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Sony 2011 losses are TWICE as bad as expected

US gov squeezing its assets firmly

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Sony has more than doubled its forecast for losses in fiscal 2011 to ¥520bn ($6.4bn, £4bn) after figuring out it will owe an extra ¥300bn ($3.69bn, £2.32bn) in taxes in the fourth quarter.

The Japanese firm said today that it had to pay the additional tax on assets that were mainly in the US.

"Due to the recording of this additional tax expense, net loss attributable to Sony Corporation’s stockholders is expected to be significantly greater than the February forecast," the company said in a canned statement.

Sony had previously expected to make a net loss of ¥220bn on its unchanged forecast of sales and revenue of ¥6.4 trillion ($78.7bn, £49.42bn).

The fiscal year ended 31 March, 2012 will give Sony its fourth consecutive annual loss as the company struggles to make money from selling tellies and takes hits on the sales it does make because of the exchange rate with the strong yen.

The company has been making changes to try to get back to profitability, including bringing in ex-Playstation exec Kazuo Hirai as president and CEO from this month to replace Howard Stringer, and slurping Ericsson's half of Sony Ericsson so it can fully own its smartphone biz.

Hirai is due to give a press conference about the future of the firm on Thursday, at which he is also expected to announce a restructuring of the company that will axe 10,000 employees.

Sony said today that it was hoping to turn things around this fiscal year and end with a profit.

"Sony is currently forecasting that it will return to positive operating results and that its consolidated income for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013 will be approximately ¥180 billion," the firm said.

Full results for this fiscal year are due to be announced on 10 May. ®

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