Sony sees losses doubled

It is starting to become clear why Sony’s Welsh Wizard Howard Stringer quit being CEO and headed for the land of his forefathers and one mother on a time share.

Sony announced that its loss for the fiscal year ending 31 March will be more than double what it thought two months ago. In fact, after looking down the back of the sofa and retrieving all those coins on the floor of the wardrobe, Sony is still $6.4 billion at a loss for the fiscal year just ended.

To be fair this increase was due to a one-time tax expense generated in America. But when you look at why the charge was made it does not say very nice things about the state of Sony. Losses in Sony’s US business have piled up more than Richard Branson’s carpet and this has led to lower valuations for some of the company’s business assets.

Sony said that this did not change its forecast for sales or operating income, which it has already said will also be dire from last year.

Sony will report its annual earnings for the period next month and it probably would be best if Stringer was as far away from any Sony shareholder as he can be.

Stringer had been promising that Sony would reverse earlier losses last year, and as recently as July the company was saying it would be profitable. However a $6.4 billion loss is probably not the sort of profits anyone had in mind.

New Sony boss Kazuo Hirai, meanwhile, is tipped to cut 10,000 jobs over the next two years as part of “streamlining” the business. This should have some serious repercussions.