Sony struggling with handset business

Sony has struggled since taking on full ownership of its handset business

Following its acquisition of Ericsson’s 50 per cent share in Sony-Ericsson, Sony’s mobile unit has posted a whopping €1.15bn ($1.48bn) loss for the year ending March 31, 2012. This is in contrast to the €74m profit that Sony-Ericsson made a year earlier.

Sony Mobile Communications, as the business is now called, saw sales for the year decrease by 12.4 per cent year-on-year to €5.3bn. The firm blamed this on component shortages resulting from the Great East Japan Earthquake and its aftermath, as well as floods in Thailand.

The firm said that sales were also affected by a lower number of feature phones shipped as a result of its decision to focus on smartphones— and intense smartphone price competition. In addition, restructuring charges were €88m, compared to €51m in the previous year.

As a result, and due to poor performance in various other units within the company, shares in Sony tumbled to a 30-year low, falling by 6.7 per cent to 1,132 yen on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

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