Sony trims its profit forecast by one-quarter

Updated: 2011-07-29 09:48

By Mariko Yasu (China Daily)

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Sony trims its profit forecast by one-quarter

Customers examine Sony Corp's Bravia televisions at an electronics store. Sony, Japan's largest exporter of consumer electronics, has cut its annual profit forecast by 25 percent.[Photo / Agencies]

Slowdown in US and European economies drags down prices

TOKYO - Sony Corp, Japan's largest exporter of consumer electronics, cut its annual profit forecast after a slump in demand led the company to lower its estimate for television sales.

Net income may total 60 billion yen ($772 million) for the year started April 1, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement on Thursday, revising its earlier projection of 80 billion yen. The company also cut its estimate for sales to 7.2 trillion yen for the year, from 7.5 trillion yen predicted two months ago.

Japan's largest exporter of consumer electronics slowed down production of TVs, cameras and Blu-ray discs after the March earthquake crippled its factories and disrupted supplies. Chief Executive Officer Howard Stringer, who has budgeted 14 billion yen this year to pay for the costs of the worst hack attacks on Sony ever, also confronts slowing demand in Europe and the United States.

"The economic slowdown, especially in the US and Europe, is leading to a significant drop in TV prices, worsening the industry's oversupply situation," Kota Ezawa, a Tokyo-based analyst at Citigroup Inc, said before the earnings. "Sony will need to promote more restructuring."

The first-quarter net loss totaled 15.5 billion yen in the three months ended June 30, compared with profit of 25.7 billion yen a year earlier, the Tokyo-based company said. That missed the 2.5 billion yen loss average of three analysts' estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Sony fell 1.1 percent to close at 2,013 yen in Tokyo trading before the announcement, widening its loss this year to 31 percent.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average has slid 3.2 percent.

Samsung Electronics Co, the world's largest maker of televisions, earlier this month reported a 26 percent drop in second-quarter operating profit after a slump in sales of flat screens masked a surge in demand for smartphones and tablet computers.

Sony, the maker of Vaio laptops, plans to start offering two models of its first tablet computers in autumn, the company said in April. Sony is following Samsung and Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc in their pursuit of Apple Inc, more than a year after the iPad spurred a surge in demand for the devices.

Sony's S1 model will feature a 9.4-inch liquid-crystal display, as well as front and rear cameras. The S2 laptop-shaped model will have dual 5.5-inch screens and feature cameras, according to the company.

Last month, Sony named its next portable video-game player the PlayStation Vita and said the cheapest model will cost $249 in the United States, 249 euros ($357) in Europe and 24,980 yen in Japan. Sony plans to start selling the Vita, which will have a 5-inch display using OLED, or organic light emitting diode, technology and a rear touch pad, by the year-end holiday season.

Bloomberg News



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