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.




User Comments: 36

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Rasta211 said:

Come on Sony you can do it!

PC nerd PC nerd said:

It makes me sad to see Sony in this state. My PSOne still works after 10 years. PS2 is still kicking after about 5 years.

And I've got a Samsung 830 64GB SSD in my computer.

I do love Sony's products.

captainawesome captainawesome said:

@PCnerd .. I don't get where the Samsung SSD comes into the equation?

captainawesome captainawesome said:

oh and @Sony... Rather stop suing ppl who hack your consoles. You should maybe focus on improving the software and opening the things up to apps. I would LOVE to have XBMC on my PS3. Hell, I'd buy one JUST for that reason! Your PS3 dashboard is dismal compared to XBox

captainawesome captainawesome said:

I mean, whytheF is there not a Playstation app store yet where you can install APPs directly to the dashboard?!

PC nerd PC nerd said:

@PCnerd .. I don't get where the Samsung SSD comes into the equation?

Oh hell. What a ****-up.

It's very late. 2 companies beginning with "S", confused me.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

It makes me sad to see Sony in this state. My PSOne still works after 10 years. PS2 is still kicking after about 5 years.

I do love Sony's products.

As do I. Sony products often set a standard for quality in the electronic industry. A few bad decisions mortally wounded the company. Most notably, the scandal with the root kit infections hidden in their music CDs, ostensibly masquerading as "copy prevention".

I have a 50 CD changer pushing 15, (used almost daily), and a portable hybrid tube / transistor B&W TV, more than than 3 decades old, I'm pretty sure I could coax to life with a digital converter box. As a souvenir I also have a, STR-V55 Sony digital receiver, the first all digital synthesis AM /FM tuner made available to the general public. Sony has a rich history of stuff that works well, is innovative, and doesn't break..

(As unpopular of an opinion as that may be).

I mean, whytheF is there not a Playstation app store yet where you can install APPs directly to the dashboard?!
Dear Mr. Awesome, consider consolidating your post via the "edit" function. That would really be awesome....

captainawesome captainawesome said:

@Mr Cranky. I don't go into the actual forum so there is no edit command. It is good to see you are living up to your name though.

Littleczr Littleczr said:

oh and @Sony... Rather stop suing ppl who hack your consoles. You should maybe focus on improving the software and opening the things up to apps. I would LOVE to have XBMC on my PS3. Hell, I'd buy one JUST for that reason! Your PS3 dashboard is dismal compared to XBox

exactly.

Guest said:

I've gone off Sony products, they insist on using non-mainstream connectors on devices and then charge crazy prices for the cables etc, that is so annoying I won't buy them. Example, I recently won a Sony Tablet in a competition, it has the weirdest power supply connector, it has a USB port but not a standard USB plug - I have to buy a Sony adapter cable, why? I have a Sony phone, is also has a weird power connector and USB connector.

What is wrong with using mainstream connectors so we don't all end up with piles of different cables for each device.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I love Sony products, I just don't like the company. As Captaincranky mentioned, the root kit debacle is just one of the many reasons I don't like them. Another is their stance that you never really own the products you buy from them, you're only paying for the privilege of using them (eg: Removing the PS3 Other OS feature just for giggles; the Geohot/root key thing). Because of their "Screw the consumer" stance over the last few years, I've lost all respect for Sony as a company, and won't buy another product of theirs until they change their position on that.

Raswan Raswan said:

Couldn't happen to a nicer set of people.

1 person liked this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

@Mr Cranky. I don't go into the actual forum so there is no edit command. It is good to see you are living up to your name though.
Oh, it's all so confusing with this new software. The front door is the backdoor. The backdoor is the front door.

Oh well, at least you can say of me, "he picked a screen name that fits". I was going to go with "captaintremendous", then changed my mind. I certainly didn't feel like living up to that.

killeriii said:

Sony needs to get their act together!

I wouldn't want them to drop the TV line completely. I've got a 60" Bravia I picked up last year, and it's the most beautiful looking TV I've seen. IMO

Guest said:

Sony doesnt care about their customers, well, looks like the customers doesnt care about sony too.

The DRM war is killing sony... congratulations !!!

wizardB wizardB said:

Couldn't happen to a nicer company ,Sony deserves loses like this for many years to come if for their involvement in RIAA to putting malware on their CDs and the miriad of scummy things they've done over the last few years....the sooner companies like Sony die off the better for the consumer!!!

Ssendi said:

My PS2 is wow when I connect it on my 32" Bravia, the bravia sync does wonders... As a Marketing and tech nerd, I would just improve on what I have, smart phone world is so competitive now!!! Just think of Loyalty consumers have towards Sony!!!

As Killerii ' I wouldn't want them to drop the TV line completely"

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

My PS2 is wow when I connect it on my 32" Bravia, the bravia sync does wonders... As a Marketing and tech nerd, I would just improve on what I have, smart phone world is so competitive now!!! Just think of Loyalty consumers have towards Sony!!!

As Killerii ' I wouldn't want them to drop the TV line completely"

Sony has done a lot of good over the years. It's won some and lost some. For example Beta tape (fail), Blu-Ray (win). That said, it's nice to see a company with a controlling nature almost as oppressive as Apple's, paying the price for its transgressions.

Does the world really need such proprietary s*** as the "Memory Stick", I think not.

Those things notwithstanding, Sony always had reliable quality, which is something that competitors such as JVC never did. Maybe they can redeem themselves in time. Their siding with the RIAA / MPAA lobbies is perhaps unforgivable by some, but understandable given the large recording and motion picture wings of their business

Arris Arris said:

I've gone off Sony products, they insist on using non-mainstream connectors on devices and then charge crazy prices for the cables etc, that is so annoying I won't buy them. Example, I recently won a Sony Tablet in a competition, it has the weirdest power supply connector, it has a USB port but not a standard USB plug - I have to buy a Sony adapter cable, why? I have a Sony phone, is also has a weird power connector and USB connector.

What is wrong with using mainstream connectors so we don't all end up with piles of different cables for each device.

I can say I don't like Sony insisting on propriety connectors either. My Sony Nex camera has a flash that uses something that looks like a jack connector, and the only external microphone that can be used is a Sony one through the same connector. Although Sony aren't the only company to do this... *cough* Apple *cough*.

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'll also throw my hat in for Sony's products also. I've always had confidence in their quality and longevity.

Sure, their customer treatment and "connectors" thing do leave something to be desired, but even still, I hope they bounce back soon.

Guest said:

Looks good on you Sony. You stopped making quality products years ago.

CrisisDog said:

Samsung is the new Sony. I've had too many issues with Sony products lately, and their decisions on the gaming front has just lowered my expectations. I used to be a Sony fanboy, but I find myself purchasing Samsung these days...

cookiedude cookiedude said:

I've gone off Sony products, they insist on using non-mainstream connectors on devices and then charge crazy prices for the cables etc, that is so annoying I won't buy them. Example, I recently won a Sony Tablet in a competition, it has the weirdest power supply connector, it has a USB port but not a standard USB plug - I have to buy a Sony adapter cable, why? I have a Sony phone, is also has a weird power connector and USB connector.

What is wrong with using mainstream connectors so we don't all end up with piles of different cables for each device.

Hardly Sony specific! Apple do this on ALL of their products, I have an Olympus camera that has a proprietary power cable, and so on. I don't agree with this approach either, I would much rather everyone conformed to a standard, but you certainly can't single Sony out over it!

Guest said:

I place the blame for this squarely on Howard Stringer. I think he bet on people swooning to the Sony name while seriously damaging both the Sony ES line and their TV line. What Stringer did not count on was competition developing products that match or exceed Sony's in quality AND people realizing that the competition was producing those products at price points below Sony's.

IMHO, Stringer is an arrogant fool who should no longer have anything to do with Sony and should resign in disgrace, thus leaving Sony to the new guy.

The new guy has a lot of rebuilding to do, and with Stringer around, I am willing to bet his job will be much more difficult. I wish him the best of luck as to me, his task will be arduous.

lipe123 said:

Lets review 2011:

Sony Sue's everyone that loads linux on playstation, even though it was a feature when buying them.

Sony gets hacked and 1000's of credit card info is lost (way to go plaintext database).

PS network is more down than its up.

Sony sue's even more rom creators.

Sony.. please get punched in the face until you learn from your mistakes.

1 person liked this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I can say I don't like Sony insisting on propriety connectors either. My Sony Nex camera has a flash that uses something that looks like a jack connector, and the only external microphone that can be used is a Sony one through the same connector. Although Sony aren't the only company to do this... *cough* Apple *cough*.
But don't you secretly wish that Apple would pay the ultimate price for this nonsense as well? I know I do.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

...the sooner companies like Sony die off the better for the consumer!!!
Somehow I feel as if you don't know what you are asking for. I can picture worse companies developing after Sony has perished.

I believe the idea would be to have the existing companies do better, not have them perish.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Somehow I feel as if you don't know what you are asking for. I can picture worse companies developing after Sony has perished.
Can you picture the draconian juggernaut Apple would be, if it inherited Sony's market share?

fimbles fimbles said:

Another company who insists on using old buisness models in a modern world.

Suing your customers is never good PR.

Bye bye sony, I for one will not miss you at all.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I must admit to my prejudices against Sony. I used to purchase their products with faith in the brand name, only to be let down time and again. Those product failures have left me with the impression that Sony's products are not reliable. While the company has made several choices that discredit a company that I'd put good faith in. While these are facts, I don't with Sony any ill-will, only that they shape up and return to their former glory, and sell honest and good products to the consumer again.

captainawesome captainawesome said:

I agree with almost every bad thing said against Sony here. But one has to say, woe for the consumer if their playstation division. Poor decisions could be easily corrected by firing some people and hiring the ones with the right ideas.

But if they were to sink (PS), what then. One console (I don't consider Wii or Wii U a console). One platform? That sounds really bad for couch potatoes like me.

Or maybe Steam will take their place ?

Guest said:

The sooner sony dies the better. They haven't been profitable in years and Samsung surpassed them some 7 years ago. All sony knows how to do is sue everyone, make everything proprietary and slap a healthy dose of DRM with anything and everything.

One of the worst companies out there.

mosu said:

The same advice over and over again: Sony, hire engineers, not lawyers!

Tygerstrike said:

Ive been a fan of Sony since they came out with the original PS1. When PS2 came out I was right on the bandwagon. Then they came out with the PS3 and they lost me. It was way too much money for what they were offering. Then they had those natural disasters in Japan and lost a ton of production partners. Add on the hacking of the PSN and the recipe was complete.

Sony has fallen away from what made them good. Solid products that performed very well and a customer support system that was far and above anyone elses. The only thing that revived Sony from the electronics graveyard was the PS1. If Nintendo hadnt dropped the ball on a CD drive on the SNES, we wouldnt even remember SOny today. They need to remember that ppl have a very long memory about getting shafted by a company. The more they fight what the consumer wants the faster they will continue this downhill trend. If a consumer cant get what they want from one company, they WILL go to another company to get it. Even if they really dont want to do business with company #2, they will do so to get what they want.

Everyone is so quick to jump on America and scream "Evil greedy Bastiches!" when the Japanese are five times worse then Americans. Given Sonys financial problems, you can most certainly expect that they will continue to sue ppl and screw their own customer base.

Guest said:

"Everyone is so quick to jump on America and scream "Evil greedy Bastiches!" when the Japanese are five times worse then Americans. Given Sonys financial problems, you can most certainly expect that they will continue to sue ppl and screw their own customer base."

Name five Japanese companies that screw Americans over. Now name 5 American companies that screw Americans over. Easier isn't it?

cookiedude cookiedude said:

. All sony knows how to do is sue everyone, make everything proprietary and slap a healthy dose of DRM with anything and everything.

One of the worst companies out there.

Clearly not a successful formula... unless you're Apple!!

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