Sony to quit TV business?

Sony’s bad days will soon be history if CEO Kazuo Hirai’s forecasts comes true. In a major ‘strategy briefing’ outlining his three-year plan for the future, Hirai said the electronics and entertainment giant would be focusing on camera image sensors, videogames and its core entertainment businesses, and in the process boost operating profits some 25-fold by 2018.

However, he did not rule out a greater degree of operational autonomy for many of its divisions, or an exit from its TV and smartphone businesses. Sony exited from its Vaio computer brands a year ago, and at the time said it would trim around 5000 staff from its various subsidiaries.

“It’s not that we aren’t thinking about partnering or selling to other firms at all. . . . Depending on the situation, we’ll have to consider (such options),” Hirai said at a news conference.  Previously, Hirai had said that the TV business was important to the electronics giant and that he was not thinking about selling.

“If our initial mid-term corporate strategy was about reforms, the second mid-term strategy starting from the next business year will be about generating profit and investing for growth,” Hirai said.

As for hard numbers, Hirai explained that this current trading period (to March 31st) would see an operating profit of some Y20 billion. This would grow, he stated, to “at least” Y500 billion by 2017-18. However, this year’s numbers – while improved – are still expected to lead to an overall loss, Sony’s sixth net loss in seven years.

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