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Sony Corp. Reports Fourth Consecutive Fiscal-Year Loss

Sony Logo - H 2012

The entertainment and consumer electronics giant attributed its record $5.7 billion deficit to the effects of last year's disasters in Japan, a weak global economy and a strong yen as its film unit reported full-year revenue growth but a lower operating profit.

TOKYO -- Sony Corp. on Thursday announced a loss of ¥455 billion ($5.7 billion) for its financial year ending in March. The company cited the 2011 disasters in Japan, floods in Thailand that disrupted its supply chain, a weak global economy, a U.S. tax write-down and a strong yen.

The result represents the electronics and entertainment conglomerate’s fourth straight year of losses.

Group revenue for the latest fiscal year fell 9.6 percent to $79.2 billion, though its loss came in below the revised forecast of $6.4 billion that the company issued last month.

Sony Pictures again was a rare bright spot for the company in terms of sales. It registered revenue growth of 9.6 percent to slightly more than $8 billion. Revenue was up 18 percent in dollar terms, but the strong yen reduced the value of those results after currency conversions. Strong theatrical revenue from The Smurfs and Bad Teacher were offset by the underperformance of Arthur Christmas.

The film division contributed $416 million in operating profit to the overall bottom line, but that was down 11.7 percent from last year due to one-off gains in 2010 from sales of Spider-Man merchandising rights and a stake in HBO Latin America.

The crucial consumer products and services division, which includes the struggling TV set and game businesses, saw lower results. Revenue fell 18.5 percent to $38.3 billion.
Sony is predicting a return to operating income of about $2.2 billion for the year ending March 31, 2013.

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