Sony Electronics $5-billion in the red – again

Japanese -based electronics manufacturer Sony announced that the company has suffered a record full-year loss of $5.7-billion, but have an aggressive strategy to recoup the losses. The company said that the majority of the loss of profit stemmed from their television division.

Sony's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan (image: Shuichi Aizawa)

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

This is the fourth year in a row that Sony dipped into the red in terms of profit, and the news comes just a mere month after the company said that they will be cutting about 10 000 jobs, as well as spend $1-billion on a company-wide overhaul.

“We consider fiscal year 2012 to be the very important year to rehabilitate the electronics division,” said Sony’s Chief Financial Officer Masaru Kato. Kazuo Hirai, who replaced chief executive Howard Stringer earlier this year, said that Sony will emerge stronger after yet another loss.

“Now is the time for Sony to change. What is urgent is that we strengthen our core businesses while rebuilding our TV business,” he said.

According to Reuters, “under Hirai, Sony is slashing costs and jobs in a bid to turnaround its struggling TV unit. While considering partnerships to help Sony compete better in TVs, Hirai is looking to cameras, gaming and smartphones to spur growth.”

As soon as the news broke about Sony’s declining sales and record full-year loss, the company’s stock price fell  by 1.22% on Thursday to ¥1 213.

“Sony expects operating profit of 180 billion yen in the year to next March, compared with a consensus estimate of 173 billion yen among 18 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. In the year just ended, Sony posted an operating loss of 67.3 billion yen. It forecast a full-year net profit of 30 billion yen,” Economic Times wrote.

Sony aims to turnaround the bleak figures by cutting the aforementioned jobs, expanding its PlayStation and online games business, as well as mobile device. According to ABC, the company will also be venturing into medical equipment and life sciences.

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor