Tokyo: Sony Corp reported a second straight quarterly loss hurt by a firmer yen, sluggish sales and restructuring costs, and it forecast a smaller-than-expected annual loss for the year ahead.
Consumer electronics makers worldwide were battered last year as the global downturn dampened demand for TVs and mobile phones. Japanese companies such as Sony, Panasonic Corp and Sharp Corp suffered an additional blow as the yen’s strength made their products less price competitive overseas.
Sony saw sales at its cellphone joint venture with Ericsson tumble, while costs to shed jobs and close plants also weighed on the company, which vies with Panasonic for the title of the world’s largest consumer electronics maker.
The maker of PlayStation games and Cyber-shot digital cameras is in the process of cutting 16,000 jobs and reducing its network of 57 manufacturing sites by 10% to survive the financial crisis.
Sony, which competes with Samsung Electronics Co in LCD TVs and Canon Inc in digital cameras, forecast an operating loss of ¥110 billion ($1.15 billion) for the financial year to March 2010.
That would be smaller than its ¥227.78 billion loss a year earlier and less than a consensus of a ¥132.9 billion loss in a poll of 20 analysts by Thomson Reuters.
Analysts expect the worldwide digital camera and mobile phone market to contract this year as the recession dampens replacement demand, capping Sony’s earnings recovery despite aggressive cost cuts.
Sony’s operating loss came in at ¥294.31 billion in January-March, a huge downturn from its profit of ¥6.18 billion a year ago. Sales fell 22% to ¥1.524 trillion.
Shares in Sony closed down 6.8% at ¥2,400 ahead of the earnings announcement, underperforming the Tokyo stock market’s electrical machinery index, which fell 4.1%.
The stock has gained 34% this year through Wednesday, while the subindex was up 22%.