Sony has confirmed it is to sell its PC business, spin off its television unit and cut thousands of jobs as it slashed its net income forecast for the year.
The Japanese giant confirmed yesterday's rumours that its PC business was up for grabs as it announced a sale - for an undisclosed fee - to Japan Industry Partners (JIP). Sony will initially retain a five per cent stake in the business, which will take the VAIO brand name.
Sony pointed to "drastic changes" in the global PC industry as a reason for the sale, and said it was placing its bets on smartphones and tablets in the future. The new company will first focus on consumer and corporate PC sales in Japan but will consider further geographic expansion in the future.
The move comes as Sony slashed its net income forecast for its full financial year ending 31 March. Last October it had predicted its net income attributable to Sony stockholders would be 30bn yen (£18bn), but now it expects to post a 110bn yen loss instead.
For its Q3, which ended on 31 December, its net profit actually reached 27bn yen compared with a 10.7bn yen loss a year ago, on sales which jumped 23.9 per cent to 2.4tn yen.
The picture for its television unit has been improving in recent years, and although it still expects to make a 25bn yen loss on the business for its fiscal year, it said spinning it off will return it to profitability quickly.
"To help transform this business into a more efficient and dynamic organisation, optimised in size and structure for the current competitive business environment and fully accountable for its operations, Sony has decided to split out the TV business and operate it as a wholly owned subsidiary," it said.
It added that the spin-off would be complete by July and hopefully would see the unit return to profitability during its fiscal 2014.
The huge changes to Sony's business don't stop there, as the firm announced its plans to slash 5,000 jobs. Some 1,500 of the cuts will be made in its Japanese business, with the remaining coming from its overseas business, and all will be made by the end of its fiscal 2014.
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