Sony Q2 profit down 90 percent

Sony posted a 90 percent fall in quarterly profit as the global slowdown boosted the yen, battered stocks and stoked price competition, and the company kept its annual profit outlook of a 58 percent decline.

The steep profit slide was expected after the electronics and entertainment conglomerate last week cut its annual operating profit forecast by 57 percent, citing yen strength, slowing digital camera and flat TV demand and tumbling share prices.

The maker of Bravia flat TVs, Cyber-shot digital cameras and PlayStation game machines warned on Wednesday it might miss even the revised-down target by a large margin if the yen continues to trade at current levels against the dollar and euro.

A firmer yen eats into exporters' overseas revenues when they are converted into the Japanese currency.

Operating profit totalled 11.05 billion yen (£68.5 million) in July-September, down from 111.62 billion yen a year earlier.

The electronics and entertainment conglomerate competes with Canon in digital cameras, Samsung Electronics in LCD TVs, and Microsoft and Nintendo in video games.

"Sony's earnings cannot help swing violently due to changes in outer factors. Unless Sony rectifies this structural problem, it would be experiencing a profit decline of a similar magnitude in five years or so."

In announcing its latest outlook on Thursday, Sony said it may close some plants, reduce capital spending and cut jobs.

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