Sony braces the market for further losses

SONY Corporation forecast a second straight year of losses as the global recession battered demand for consumer electronics.<br /><br />But the Japanese company stopped short of taking any new aggressive steps to cut costs further. Sony, which competes with Samsung Electronics&nbsp;in LCD TVs and Canon in digital cameras, forecast an operating loss of 110 billion yen (&pound;750m)&nbsp;for the business year to March 2010.<br /><br />Sony, led by Welsh-born chief executive Sir Howard Stringer, also said it suffered a &pound;685m loss last year.<br /><br />The back-to-back annual losses will be Sony&rsquo;s first since its listing in 1958, underscoring deepening troubles for a company that has fallen behind Apple&rsquo;s iPod in portable music, Nintendo in videogames, and is losing money on flat-screen TVs.<br /><br />Japanese companies&nbsp;have suffered an additional blow as the yen&rsquo;s strength made their products less price competitive overseas.<br /><br />Sony said yesterday&nbsp;it would close a number of its 57 manufacturing sites this year and stood by its plan to slash more than &pound;2.1bn&nbsp;in costs this financial year.<br /><br />Analysts said the firm should turn its attention to how it plans to take advantage of an economic recovery.