TOKYO, May 10 (Reuters) - Japanese consumer electronics giant Sony Corp posted a record net loss of 456.7 billion yen ($5.74 billion) for the year just ended, hit by losses from its TV business, but forecast a return to profit at an operating level in the current year.
The creator of the Walkman music player and PlayStation games console forecast an operating profit of 180 billion yen for the year to next March, compared with a consensus estimate of 173 billion yen among 18 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. It forecast a full-year net profit of 30 billion yen.
In the year just ended, Sony posted an operating loss of 67.3 billion yen, lower than the average 95 billion yen loss estimated by 17 analysts.
Hobbled by losses from its TV business and competition in mobile phones and other devices from rivals Apple and Samsung Electronics, Sony is struggling to make money.
Under new CEO Kazuo Hirai, Sony is slashing costs and jobs in a bid to turnaround its struggling TV unit. While considering partnerships to help Sony compete better in TVs, Hirai is looking to cameras, gaming and smartphones to spur growth.
Since the start of the year, Sony shares have dropped 12 percent, while the benchmark Nikkei 225 index has gained nearly 7 percent. At current levels, Sony is worth less than a tenth of Samsung and just 3 percent of Apple.