Sony last quarter profits dive 95%; Electronics make $176m loss

Sony have announced a 95-percent drop in profits in the last three months of 2008, compared to the company's performance in the same period one year ago.  That's the headline figure in a set of financial reports that make even Canon's look good: a combination of the strong yen and low holiday demand contributed to the Sony electronics division posting their first ever operating loss, with overall net profit for the company of just 10.4 billion yen ($115.6 million) compared to 200.2 billion yen in 2007.

The final quarter of the calendar year (Sony's financial calendar runs from April, not from January, so their Q3 2008 is what the US would refer to as Q4 2008) traditionally sees over half of the electronics' division's total revenues.  In 2007 they took a 200.6 billion yen ($2.22bn) profit, but this year made a 15.9 billion yen ($176m) operating loss.  Operating loss for the whole company over the three month period amounted to 18 billion yen ($199m).

Sony are predicting a net loss of 150 billion yen ($1.67 billion) for the full fiscal year, the first yearly loss the company has reported in 14 years.  Despite having already announced 8,000 job cuts and plans to close 10-percent of its factories, Chief Executive Howard Stringer is saying the cost-cutting measures had not gone far enough.