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Sony reports $1 billion loss

But PlayStation business halves losses on lower costs and higher software sales

Sony Corporation has reported that it made a loss of JPY 98.9 billion (USD 1.04 billion) in the financial year to the end of March 31, 2009.

During the preceding twelve months the company's revenue dropped by 12.9 per cent to JPY 7.73 trillion (USD 81.0 billion), with the company blaming "factors including the slowdown of the global economy, the appreciation of the yen and the decline in the Japanese stock market."

The Game segment saw the biggest decrease in sales year-on-year, down 18 per cent to JPY 1.05 trillion (USD 10.7 billion), with the currency fluctuation and decrease in unit sales of the PlayStation 2 cited.

However, the segment's operating loss more than halved to JPY 58.5 billion (USD 597 million) by thanks to reductions in the cost of manufacturing PlayStation 3 hardware, along with increased PS3 software sales.

In total the company sold just over 10 million PS3 consoles, up around 10 per cent on the previous year, and just over 14 million PlayStation Portable handhelds, also slightly up year-on-year, while just fewer than 8 million PS2s were sold.

On the software side only the PS3 recorded an increase year-on-year, with 103.7 million units sold in fiscal 2008, up 45.8 million on fiscal 2007. However, the PSP's software sales fell by around 10 per cent to 50.3 million units.

The company also noted that Game segment inventory stood at JPY 145.5 billion (USD 1.49 million) at the end of the fiscal period, a decrease of 19.9 per cent compared to the previous year and a decrease of 26.7 per cent compared to the end of the calendar year 2008.

Specific fourth quarter figures included revenue down by 22 per cent to JPY 1.52 billion (USD 15.5 billion) over the previous year's numbers, with the financial release noting that the Yen was 12.6 per cent more expensive versus the Dollar and 29.8 per cent more expensive versus the Euro for this year's results.

Sony was downbeat for the the year ahead, predicting a further 6 per cent slow down in revenues, although restructuring plans should lead to some savings and a reduction to the company's operating loss - although net losses are expected to climb to JPY 120 billion (USD 1.26 billion) for the next financial year.

The company's stock fell by 6.8 per cent to JPY 2400 (USD 25.1) at the close of the Tokyo Stock Exchange today.

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