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Sony says revenue slid 25% in December quarter, posts $197-million operating loss

January 28, 2009 | 11:50 pm

Sony Sony, battered by a plunge in consumer spending, a strong yen and fierce competition, tonight posted a 24.6% sales drop its December quarter to $23.7 billion and an operating loss of $197 million.

The Japanese electronics business, which contributed 68% of Sony's total revenue, posted a sharp 29.3% drop in sales to $16.1 billion and an operating loss of $175 million. The company cited a strong yen, which rose nearly 18% against the U.S. dollar and 30% against the euro over the last year.

Its PlayStation business, however, eked out a $4-million profit in the December quarter despite a 32% decline in revenue to $4.3 billion. Though unit sales of its PlayStation 3 games spiked 57%, sales of its consoles, including PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable, slid. As a result, profit from the division fell 97% from the prior year.

Sony Pictures saw a 22% drop in revenue to $1.9 billion, but only an 8% decrease in operating income to $142 million. Ticket sales from "Quantum of Solace" and the DVD and Blu-ray releases of "Hancock" and "Step Brothers" helped bolster the division's profits.

The company's financial services business, however, suffered from a meltdown of the Japanese stock market, which drove revenue down 24% to $1.1 billion and widened losses to $411 million.

Sony Chief Executive Howard Stringer last week telegraphed the poor quarterly results when the company announced that it expected to lose more than $1.7 billion for its current fiscal year ending March 31.

-- Alex Pham

Image by Sony

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