TOKYO: Sony Corp said it is headed for its fourth straight annual net loss, instead of a profit it forecast earlier, as Thai floods disrupted camera production, adding to losses from a soaring yen and price slides in its TVs and PCs in the United States and Europe.
The maker of Bravia TVs, Vaio computers and PlayStation game consoles changed its forecast to a loss of 90 billion yen ($1.1 billion) from a net profit of 60 billion yen earlier.
Sony is yet another addition to a lengthening list of Japanese firms that have posted poor quarterly results due to factors including the strong yen, floods in Thailand and weak demand in the United States and Europe.
The list includes Honda Motor Co , Panasonic , Nintendo Co Ltd and Nomura Holdings . Sony blamed the deluge in Thailand for cutting 25 billion yen in expected earnings, and reduced its TV sales forecast by 9
per cent to 20 million sets , the second cut this financial year.
"The Thai floods are only the latest problem for Sony, which is struggling to come up with another hit product like the Walkman," said Fujio Ando, senior managing director at Chibagin Asset Management.
"As far as its TV business, its situation is the same as Panasonic's -- making deep cuts to stay competitive with no guarantee the restructuring will work," he said.
Sony, which is heading for its eighth straight annual loss in its TV division, is revamping the unit, but a lack of details since the plan was announced three months ago and poor sales are keeping investors downbeat.
The company said it will aim to cut the TV unit's operating loss, expected to be 175 billion yen this financial year, by half in the next year and return it to profit in the year ending in March 2014.
"The TV business is an essential part of Sony's growth strategy. We, as management, feel a great sense of crisis after seven straight years of losses," Sony Executive Deputy President Kazuo Hirai told a briefing.
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