Sony’s TV picture is very cloudy
August 2, 2011
By Chris Forrester
Sony Corp, Japan’s electronics giant, is to completely overhaul its TV set business. Sony has already sold factories in Slovakia and agreed a sale of its Barcelona plant. It has also sold 90 per cent of its largest US factory to Taipai’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.
But there could be worse to come, given that Sony is anticipating its eighth successive year of losses in the TV division. The fault is that consumers in North America and Europe are not buying enough higher-end TV sets.
Sony’s Bravia models form the backbone of its TV division, and Sony says it has reduced its full-year sales for this year from 22m units to just 19m. Some analysts say a complete sale of the TV division could be on the cards, and saving in the process losses of some $1 billion in a full year. This is denied by Sony executives.
Panasonic, a major rival to Sony, last week also reported losses. Sony, as recently as 2005, was worth more than $100 billion. Today’s value is barely $25 billion, less than a quarter of the value of another rival, Samsung of South Korea.