Sony to sell PC business, reform TV arm, layoff 5,000 employees

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Sony to sell PC business, reform TV arm, layoff 5,000 employees
Sony to sell PC business, reform TV arm, layoff 5,000 employees
Major changes are afoot at Sony, after the Japanese electronics giant announced plans to sell its Vaio PC business and reform its TV arm. As a result, Sony will layoff 5,000 employees over the next year or so, including 1,500 in Japan and 3,500 overseas. Sony was projecting a fiscal year net profit of 30 billion yen converting to $295 million, a figure already adjusted down from previous forecasts. Following the restructuring, Sony expects to post a fiscal year net loss of 110 billion yen, converting to $1.08 billion.

Sony's announcement comes as the company posted a strong Q3 net profit of $257 million, boosted by the launch of the PlayStation 4. The new console contributed to the company's net sales of just under $23 billion, with sales in the PlayStation department rising year-on-year by 64.6 percent, or 33 percent when accounting for exchange rate fluctuations. As revealed last month, Sony placed 4.2 million PS4s in the hands of consumers in 2013, and the console is well on course to meets its fiscal targets.

However, scrutiny will center around the decisions to exit the PC industry and make the TV business its own subsidiary. Sony targeted both areas for a return to profit this fiscal year, which ends March 31, but both will come up short. That means an end for the PC business, with an "understanding" in place to sell the Vaio brand to Japanese Industry Partners; a final agreement is expected to be concluded in March 2014, following due diligence and negotiations. Sony is instead shifting focus towards the mobile sector, and smartphone and tablet products. As for the TV business, Sony's newly formed subsidiary is to focus on high-end models and dominating the 4K market.

In addition to the 5,000 layoffs, 90 billion yen (converting to around $886 million) is being allocated in restructuring expenses over the next year or so. Sony's restructuring follows the overhaul announced nearly two years ago, which resulted in 10,000 employees losing their jobs. As with those measures, Sony stated the decisions it's making today will lead to long-term cost reductions, estimated to be 100 billion yen annually, around $986 million.
[Image: Sony]
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