Consumer electronics and entertainment giant Sony Corp reported Thursday a record net loss for the fiscal year ended March but pinned hopes on a restructuring strategy to return to profit this year.
The company reported a net loss of 456.66 billion yen ($5.73 billion) in 2011-2012 fiscal year, which is its fourth consecutive year in the red. While sales declined 9.6 percent compared to last year, the company had an operating loss of 67.28 billion yen.
In April, Sony said it was letting 10,000 employees go in an effort to concentrate resources on core business and bring the company back to black. Around 5,000 of the total job cuts will be happening in businesses making chemicals and small-and medium-sized panels.
This follows the announcement of a new management structure in the company and Kazuo Hirai taking over as CEO on April 1. It is expected that Hirai will be taking steps to shut down loss-making business and focus on rebuilding the company.
Sony's TV business, which is in poor health, is likely to absorb a significant amount of current job cuts. Other factors adding to the company's woes include the increased competition from rivals like Apple and Samsung, the strong yen and the declining TV prices.
The sharp decline in Sony's market share is visible from the fact that its current market capitalization is $20 billion, a breathtaking plunge from $200 billion in 2000. This is much less than that of Apple and Samsung, whose market valuations account for $591 billion and $171 billion respectively. As a refocus strategy, Sony is currently partnering with Google for Android-powered phones and tablets as well as for Google TV.
Last year's earthquake in Japan and the floods in Thailand also affected the company's earnings by seriously disrupting supply chains.
Earlier, Standard & Poor's had lowered Sony's long-term corporate credit and debt ratings to 'BBB+' from 'A-', owing to low probability, enormous price erosion, worsening demand and severe competition. S&P said if no meaningful earnings recovery occurs within 6 to 12 months, the ratings could take a further hit.