Saying that Sony had become the victim of "the massive economic upheaval being experienced across the globe," Sony CEO Howard Stringer told investors Thursday that the company expects to report a loss of nearly $3 billion for the current fiscal year ending in March, the first time the company has reported an annual loss in 14 years. Last October, ahead of the holiday season, Sony had forecast that it would report a profit of $2.21 billion, but sales of its Bravia HDTV sets failed to move off retailers' shelves during the holidays in the quantity that was expected and the rising value of the yen compounded the Japanese giant's woes. Speaking in Tokyo, Stringer said that it was his "foremost priority" to return the company to profitability. "We have to move in a hurry," he said. He announced numerous cost-saving plans, including buy-out offers to executives, additional employee layoffs, and plant closures. But Bloomberg News quoted Naoteru Teraoka of Chuo Mitsui Asset Management as saying, "You can cut workers, but Sony's products still don't sell. ... The question of how much worse it will get still remains."

22/01/2009