Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Sony blames slow reflexes for big losses

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TOKYO -- Sony Corp. chief executive Kazuo Hirai said Thursday the company accumulated huge losses because it didn't respond quickly enough to changing market conditions, but promised a return to profit next year.

Last week, Sony reported a US$1.3-billion loss for the fiscal year ended in March. It is forecasting a US$490-million loss for the current fiscal year. Sony has repeatedly disappointed investors by not achieving its profit forecasts.

"We must acknowledge that our steps to take action had come much too slowly," he told reporters at the Japanese entertainment and electronics giant's Tokyo headquarters. "We are going to fully complete our structural reforms."

Hirai's vision of Sony's turnaround centres on key technologies such as image sensors, cloud-based services and wearable devices. He stressed although Sony's electronics business is ailing, it is doing well in other areas such as finance, which includes a bank and insurance services, and entertainment, which boasts a successful Spider-Man film franchise and the PlayStation 4 video-game machine.

He denied the company will sell or pull the plug on its money-losing TV business. Once a leader in TVs, Sony has lost out to competitors such as South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co.,which led in the shift to flat panels.

Sony's TV operations have been struggling for a decade, fuelling speculation Sony might exit the business entirely.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 23, 2014 B4

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