Sony expects to post $3.2bn net loss in 2010

Consumer electronics giant Sony has said it expected to post a $3.2bn (£2bn) net loss for the year that ended on March 31 due to a write off on tax credits.

The net loss would be Sony's biggest since 1995 and its second-largest ever. The news caused its shares to fall 2.8 per cent in pre-market trading.

The maker of PlayStation video games, Vaio computers and Bravia TVs has been battling to recover from the devastating Japan earthquake in March, and more recently, a series of computing hacking attacks that affected more than 100m user accounts.

"I have been sceptical about Sony for a long time. Sony has been overtaken by Apple and other companies," said Yuuki Sakurai, CEO and president of Fukoku Capital Management in Tokyo. "The management is not able to show shareholders the future of the company."

Sony, once a symbol of Japan's electronic and manufacturing excellence, has found itself outmanoeuvred by Apple in portable music and Samsung Electronics in flat-screen TVs and is facing a tough fight in video games with Nintendo and Microsoft.

Sony said it now expected a net loss of 260 billion yen (£2bn) versus a previous forecast for a profit of 70 billion yen due to a "non-cash charge" of around 360 billion yen related to Japanese tax credits.

It is due to announce its full-year earnings on Thursday.