Sony $3bn loss

Sony has said it expects to post a record annual operating loss of nearly $3 billion because of the rapid deterioration of the global economy. It also announced a major overhaul that would include layoffs and factory closings.

"The massive economic upheaval being experienced across the world is sparing no one in the consumer electronics world," the Sony chief executive, Howard Stringer, told reporters in Tokyo.

Stringer said the main problem had been "a significant deterioration" in the company's core electronics division. But business worsened across every major line, including games, movies and financial services.

Sony is not alone. In November, its Japanese rival, Panasonic, revised its annual sales forecast downward by 700 billion yen. LG Electronics reported a fourth-quarter net loss of nearly $500 million this week and Samsung Electronics, which reports its earnings this week is expected to post its first quarterly net loss ever.

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