Sony doubles forecast of annual loss to $6.4bn

New Sony TVs Sony's television business has lost money for the last eight years

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Sony has forecasted an annual loss of $6.4bn, double its previous estimate and a record loss for the firm.

The grim forecast comes as Sony's new chief executive, Kazuo Hirai, prepares a turnaround plan, which he is expected to outline on Thursday.

Reports say the company is planning 10,000 job cuts as Sony exits businesses that are not profitable or central to the firm's strategy.

The company blamed the record loss on tax charges related to its US business.

It will be the company's fourth year of losses.

In its latest forecast, Sony said it still expects to make an operating loss of $1.2bn for the year to 31 March, but hopes to return to profit in the current financial year.

Analysis

On the face of it Sony's problems are simple, but fixing them will be a challenge for the new chief executive, Kazuo Hirai.

The content and device divisions of the company have not been able to work out how to create one seamless consumer experience.

Apple has trounced the maker of the Walkman by doing exactly that.

In televisions Sony faces brutal competition from the likes of Samsung, with the high yen giving companies based in Japan a distinct disadvantage.

Sony's performance has been dragged down by its television business which has lost money for eight years.

Analysts will be keen to hear what the new chief executive has planned for that unit.

"The interesting question is: What number of TVs do they expect to sell in the future?" said Pelham Smithers, who runs his own consultancy that specialises in electronics firms.

"Selling around 20 million units a year is too small to be price competitive and too big to be a niche player," he told BBC News.

Rival Japanese TV maker Sharp is also forecasting hefty losses.

It expects an annual loss of $4.7bn, up from its initial forecast of $3.6bn.

Sharp and Sony have been struggling to compete with South Korea's Samsung and LG who both have profitable TV units.

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