Sony forecasts 50 bln yen net loss for 2014/15, plans more restructuring

TOKYO Wed May 14, 2014 2:21am EDT

TOKYO May 14 (Reuters) - Sony Corp said on Wednesday it expects to log a 50 billion yen ($489 million) net loss this financial year, its sixth in seven years, and plans additional restructuring measures that include its loss-making PC operations.

Operating profit in the year to March 31 was forecast to rise more than five times compared to the year-ago level to 140 billion yen ($1.37 billion), falling short of the 227 billion yen average of 20 analysts' estimates from Thomson Reuters StarMine.

Sony made a 128.4 billion yen net loss for the 2013/14 financial year that ended March 31, in line with its own forecast of a 130 bln net loss. On May 1, Sony issued its third profit warning for the year and cut its outlook to barely one-tenth of its initial estimate.

Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai vowed when he took the helm two years ago to push electronics into the black, but the flagship division's persistent losses have frustrated investors and invited unfavourable comparisons with rivals Panasonic Corp and Sharp Corp, which have recovered from heavy losses in consumer electronics.

The company said it would spend 135 billion yen on restructuring this financial year, compared with 177.4 billion yen the prior year. ($1 = 102.2250 Japanese Yen) (Reporting by Sophie Knight and Maki Shiraki; Editing by Edmund Klamann and Miral Fahmy)