Sony sees 2010/11 net loss of $3.2 billion on tax write-offs

By @ibtimes on

Sony Corp said on Monday it would post a $3.2 billion net loss for the year that ended on March 31, the latest setback for the Japanese consumer electronics giant.

The maker of the PlayStation video games, Vaio computers and Trinitron TVs has been battling to recover from the devastating earthquake in March, and more recently, a series of computing hacking attacks.

It is due to announce its full-year earnings on Thursday.

Sony said it now expected a net loss of 260 billion yen ($3.2 billion) versus a previous forecast for a profit of 70 billion yen, thanks to a non-cash charge of around 360 billion yen related to Japanese tax credits.

The company stuck with its earlier forecast, issued before the March 11 earthquake, for an annual operating profit of 200 billion yen ($2.4 billion).

In its first estimate for the year to March 2012, Sony said its operating profit would also be around 200 billion yen.

The devastating earthquake and tsunami in March damaged Sony plants in northeastern Japan, snarled the supply chain and triggered a plunge in domestic consumption.

Sony estimated the impact of the quake in the current year at 150 billion yen at the operating level.

Regarding the hacking attacks that forced the company to shutdown its PlayStation Network, Sony said known costs were estimated at 14 billion yen. Sony is targeting the end of May for fully restoring the affected networks.

Many rival corporations, including Panasonic Corp, have yet to issue forecasts for the current financial year to March 2012, due to uncertainty following the disaster.

An analysts' consensus, according to a SmartEstimates by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, is for a 2010/2011 operating profit of 197 billion yen. SmartEstimates place more weight on recent estimates by highly rated analysts.

($1 = 81.710 Japanese Yen)

(Reporting by Isabel Reynolds; Editing by Lincoln Feast)

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