Sony posts record high $5.7 billion annual loss, worst in company history

By on May 10, 2012, 4:30 PM

Sony has posted a record annual net loss of $5.7 billion, or $5.55 per share, marking its fourth straight year in the red highlighted by declining sales company-wide. The loss is the largest in the company’s 66-year history and close to double the amount the company lost last year.

Quarterly sales were up 1.2 percent to $20 billion but annual sales were down almost 10 percent, or roughly $81 billion. Sales of flat-panel TVs, digital and video cameras, the PlayStation gaming console and personal computers were all to blame.

The company’s television business has been in the toilet for eight years but recent misfortune has resulted in additional hardships. Sony factories and those of their suppliers were hit hard last year by an earthquake and tsunami that ravaged the region. Flooding in Thailand has also affected production in various sectors and an unfavorable yen has eroded overseas earnings.

Newly appointed CEO Kazuo Hirai is leading a company-wide restructuring plan that will see 10,000 jobs cut in the next year. The cuts will represent six percent of the company’s global workforce in a goal to move away from the TV industry and delve further into manufacturing smartphones.

Sony plans to sell some 33 million smartphones this year, up from 22.5 million last year according to Reuters. Sony bought out Ericsson’s 50 percent share in their mobile phone venture late last year for $1.5 billion. The company is hoping to see greener pastures as they look toward a new year.

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