BUSINESS

Sony sinks to $1.3-billion quarterly loss on PC expenses

TOKYO — Sony Corp. sank to $1.3 billion quarterly loss, hit by costs from selling its personal computer business, and is forecasting more red ink as it struggles to execute a long-promised turnaround.

The Tokyo-based maker of the PlayStation 4 game machine, Bravia TVs and Walkman digital player also reported Wednesday a loss of $1.3 billion for the fiscal year through March 2014, about three times its loss the previous year.

It forecast a $490 million loss for the year ending March 2015 as overall sales are expected to be flat without its Vaio PC business.

Earlier this month, Sony said it would report a bigger annual loss than forecast because of expenses that stemmed from selling Vaio, such as restructuring charges and dealing with excess inventory in components.

The PC-related losses are expected to continue this fiscal year, totaling $784 million, on top of the $900 million for the fiscal ended March 2014.

Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai and some 40 other senior executives are returning their entire bonuses, reducing their annual pay by 40 to 50%. Sony executives have taken some pay cuts in recent years to take responsibility for the company's poor performance.

Sony's red ink is flowing despite an improvement in sales, which rose 14% to $76 billion for the fiscal year.

It is also struggling despite the perk that Japanese exporters such as Sony get from a weak yen, which boosts the value of overseas earnings.

Sony said it trimmed losses at its TV operations, which have been struggling for nearly a decade, a big problem for a company that had built its reputation on the fantastic image quality of its TVs.

Sony is splitting off its money-losing TV division to run it as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

In other divisions, Sony lost money in its mobile, device and video-game businesses for the fiscal year ended March.

But it was profitable in its movie business, where TV productions benefited from licensing agreements for game shows, including "Wheel of Fortune."

Sony's music unit also increased profitability, on the success of Daft Punk's `Random Access Memories," Beyonce's "Beyonce" and Miley Cyrus' "Bangerz."

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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