Sony targets return to profitability after record $US5.7 billion loss last year

The electronics giant will pursue its first positive result in five years under new CEO Kazuo Hirai

Sony closed the books on its worst year ever on Thursday, while also targeting a slight profit for the current period, which would be its first since 2008.

The electronics company said it booked a net loss of ¥457 billion (US$5.7 billion) for the fiscal year through March, slightly better than a forecast it made last month, but still Sony's deepest loss since it was founded in 1946.

While a large portion of the massive loss is from tax concerns and other one-off charges, the company said overall sales slipped 10 percent to ¥6.5 trillion, with deep declines in the U.S. and Europe.

Sony's official announcement of its results for last fiscal year marks the end of its time under former CEO Howard Stringer. The charismatic former television executive ran the company for seven years, cutting jobs and closing factories to streamline operations and bring it back to profitability before it was hit by a series of obstacles including a hacking crisis, last year's massive earthquake and tsunami, and flooding in Thailand.

The Tokyo-based firm's decline, which has mirrored that of other domestic electronics makers, has come as it is eclipsed by foreign competitors like Apple and Samsung. In addition to being weighed down by its loss-making TV business, Sony has in recent years failed to come up with the hit products that fatten margins and generate buzz and loyalty among consumers.

Last year, Sony said its bottom line was hurt by falling income from many of its core products, including TVs, PCs, digital cameras and its gaming consoles. It did record continued profits in its movie and music divisions, which benefitted from cable TV shows as well as hit albums from artists like Beyonce and Pitbull.

Incoming CEO Kazuo Hirai, who officially took his new post on Wednesday, has been actively working to implement his vision for the company, which includes a focus on the core electronics that built its legacy and on online platforms that link its various product groups. Hirai outlined his vision for Sony in a Tokyo press conference last month, a plan that includes a reduction of global head count by 10,000, or about 6 percent of the total.

Sony said Thursday that for the current fiscal year through March 2013 it aims for a net profit of ¥30 billion, while increasing sales 14 percent from the latest result. It said it would look to turn around its struggling TV business with a focus on profits over unit sales, and expected a strong recovery from last year's earthquakes and Thai floods.

For the January-March quarter, Sony said losses were slightly less than a year earlier, which included the period after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that flattened portions of Japan's northeast coast.

Like many Japanese companies, Sony's fiscal year runs from April to March.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Shop safely with our award-winning security solution. Protect yourself this Black Friday and get the exclusive Black Friday discount for Bitdefender 2019!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?