Sony: Losses grow, forecast shrinks

For Sony Corp., it was a another quarter of red ink.

The Japanese consumer electronics and entertainment giant Thursday posted a wider loss its first quarter on slightly higher revenue as sales of its television sets and game consoles declined.

Sony lost $312 million on $19.2 billion in revenue for the quarter ended June 30. A year earlier, Sony lost $196 million on $18.9 billion in sales. On a per-share basis, Sony recorded a 31-cent loss, compared with a 20-cent loss the year before.

Sony also blamed its low performance on the stronger yen, which made its products more expensive abroad. Over the last year, the yen gained 12.5% against the euro and 0.7% against the dollar.

As a result of the higher yen and lower unit sales of its consumer electronic devices, Sony also reduced its forecast for the fiscal year. The company now expects to earn $250 million in net income on $85 billion in annual revenue in the year ending March 31, 2013. (In May, Sony had projected $375 million in net income and $92.5 billion in revenue.) 

For Sony Pictures, revenue dropped nearly 10% to $1.9 billion, swinging to a $62-million loss, largely due to advance marketing expenses for "The Amazing Spider-Man," which was released internationally in late June and domestically in early July. Last year, Sony Pictures posted an operating profit of $54.5 million  on $1.8 billion in revenue.

Sony's music business, while remaining profitable, saw a continued decline in revenue as CD sales shrank worldwide. The unit posted $92 million in operating profit on $1.3 billion in sales. A year earlier, it recorded $153 million in profit and $1.4 billion in sales.

Its PlayStation games business also saw revenue decline 14% to $1.5 billion due to lower sales of its consoles and game software. As a result, the unit swung to a loss of $45 million from a profit of $52 million a year earlier.

Hardest hit was Sony's home entertainment division, which includes TVs, Blu-ray players and home audio equipment. Sales of its TVs dropped to just under $2 billion for the first quarter, down 35% from a year earlier.

Sony's newly appointed chief executive, Kazuo Hirai, in March announced a top-to-bottom reorganization that involved eliminating 10,000 jobs and de-emphasizing its once iconic TV business to focus more on games, mobile and imaging.

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Twitter: @AlexPham

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