Sony Corp. (SNE), which is passing through the worst phase in its history, said Thursday it will reduce about 10,000 jobs in fiscal 2012 as part of a turnaround plan. The Japanese electronics firm, which very recently widened its loss forecast for the year - its fourth straight loss year, also listed a few initiatives to strengthen its core electronics business.
Those include turning around the ailing television unit and strengthening the digital imaging, game and mobile businesses, with an eye on emerging market expansion.
The company expects the moves to result in total sales of 8.5 trillion yen in the fiscal year 2014 ending March 31, 2015, of which 6 trillion yen are expected from electronics business. This is in comparison to the anticipated total sales of 6.40 trillion yen this fiscal year.
Sony projects related restructuring costs of 75 billion yen in fiscal 2012. The company on Tuesday said it anticipates a bigger loss than previously forecast earlier, as it needs to take a charge of about 300 billion yen in tax expense mainly in the U.S. as well as additional tax expense due to the increased possibility that profits will be reallocated between Japan and certain of its overseas units.
Before the newly anticipated restructuring expense, the company was projecting a record 520 billion yen or about $6.41 billion net loss for fiscal 2012.
A statement by the company read: "By implementing a rapid decision-making approach that draws on the strengths of the entire Sony Group as "One Sony", Sony aims to revitalize and grow the electronics business to generate new value, while further strengthening the stable business foundations of the Entertainment and Financial Service businesses."
The announced initiatives are to be spearheaded by Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai, who took the helm from Howard Stringer on April 1 and took over the direct supervision of the TV business.
As part of realigning its business portfolio, Sony has already transferred or is in negotiations to transfer its small- and medium-sized display business and chemical products business. In March, the company said it would sell its chemical operations to the government-affiliated Development Bank of Japan.
In April, Sony, Toshiba Corp. and Hitachi Ltd. merged their small and mid-size LCD operations into a new firm called Japan Display. The company also said today that it is exploring possible alliances in the area of batteries for electronic vehicles and energy storage modules.
Sony had 168,200 employees as of March 31. Sony's December 2008 restructuring program saw 16,000 workers leaving the firm and closure of five of its nine TV production bases after the global financial crisis hit demand for its electronics products. However, the moves could not help it to return to a profit since then.
In Japan, Sony shares closed today's trading at 1,528 yen, up 13 yen or 0.86 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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