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Sony forecasts fifth annual loss in six years


Sony expects to post a 50 billion yen net loss (around $490 million) in the current fiscal year, making it five annual losses across the last six years. The projection is a significant improvement from the 128.4 billion yen loss ($1.26 billion) Sony posted today for the year ending March 31, 2014, but it still sees the Japanese company languishing in the red.

The projected loss is tied to Sony's ongoing restructuring, and the costs of that bleeding into this year. Despite recording 177.4 billion yen ($1.74 billion) in "impairment charges" last fiscal year, Sony expects approximately 135 billion yen ($1.32 billion) in remaining costs this year, with 80 billion yen of that ($783 million) related to losses from exiting the PC business back in February.

As far as the PlayStation division goes, the outlook is rosier for the newly segmented "Game and Network Services" (Sony used to report the results of the "Game" division on its own). Sales rose by nearly 40 percent in the last fiscal year thanks to the PS4, but launching a new console contributed to an operating loss of 18.8 billion yen ($184 million), as did the closure of several MMOs. However, Sony expects to turn that loss into a gain this year.
[Image: Sony]

The company projects the segment's fiscal year sales to rise once more up to 1,220 billion yen ($11.95 billion), an increase of 17 percent. With PS4 sales predicted to rise and post-launch costs decreasing, the forecast is an operating gain of 20 billion yen ($196 million).

As for unit sales, the PlayStation division came in slightly below forecasts. Sony shipped 14.6 million PS3 and PS4 consoles in the last fiscal year, compared to 15 million projected. That said, Sony reported 7 million PS4 sales last month, after the console exceeded its initial targets. Meanwhile portable shipments, including Vita, Vita TV and PSP, reached 4.1 million, down from estimates of 5 million.

For the year ending March 31, 2015, Sony projects console shipments to rise to 17 million, while portable figures are down at 3.5 million.

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