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Sony doubles loss forecast to $6.4B

Japanese electronics company increases loss forecast for fiscal year, ended March 2012, due to additional tax expenses in fourth quarter.

Sony has doubled its earlier loss forecast to 520 billion yen (US$6.4 billion) for the fiscal year ended Mar. 31, 2012, citing additional charges in various tax expenses in the fourth quarter as the key reason for the spike.

In a statement Tuesday, Sony said it added 300 billion yen (US$3.7 billion) in tax expenses for its fourth quarter. The company in February had predicted losses totaling 220 billion yen (US$2.7 billion) for the financial year 2012.

Among the tax expenses, about 80 percent were from writing off deferred tax assets in the United States. Other expenses were due to the increased possibility that Sony would incur additional tax expenses as it sought to transfer profits between Japan and certain overseas subsidiaries, the company added.

However, Sony said it would return to positive operating results in its fiscal year starting Apr. 1, 2012. It also predicted that it would see consolidated income of 180 billion yen (US$2.2 billion) for the fiscal year ending Mar. 31, 2013.

Just this Monday, the Japanese firm announced plans to slash its workforce by 10,000, representing approximately 6 percent of its global headcount, in an attempt to return to profitability.

Sony has seen many major managerial shakeup recently. CEO Kazuo Hirai, who took over this month, said the company needed to make "some hard, painful decisions". Just last week, Sony announced that Kunimasa Suzuki will over as president and CEO of its mobile communications unit on May 16.

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