Sony cuts sales targets, remains optimistic

Sales targets for digital cameras, smartphones and tablets have been cut by 13-17 percent for the year ending March 2015.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer on

Ailing electronics maker Sony has lowered its future sales expectations, but says there are "encouraging" signs of recovery.

At a press briefing on Wednesday, Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai said that a recent proposal by the company's largest shareholder Third Point LLC is being considered -- the potential sale of up to a fifth of its music and film business, according to Reuters.

The owner of Third Point LLC, Daniel Loeb, argues that by selling these assets -- which incude franchises like "Spider Man," cash would be freed up to help the firm stay afloat, and may boost stock prices.

Sony's CEO said that the proposal "is one that affects a core part of Sony's business and the direction of our management, so the Sony board will give it thorough consideration before replying to Mr. Loeb."

Despite the largest shareholder advocating the sale of music and film assets, Hirai said there are still "encouraging" signs of recovery for Sony within its electronics business. However, this hasn't stopped the Japanese firm from slashing a number of sales targets. There has been strong demand for the Xperia smartphone and new mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, but 2014-2015 sales targets have still been cut to 1.3 trillion yen ($12.7 billion). Smartphones and tablets are expected to generate sales of 1.5 trillion yen.

The ailing electronics maker's overall sales target in 2014-15 of 8.5 trillion yen combined with an operating margin of over five percent remains unchanged. Once Hirai's recovery plan is complete, the CEO believes that 65 percent of the company's electronics sales will be derived from cameras, mobile technology and gaming.

In May, the tech giant reported net profit of $458 million in the 2012 fiscal year in comparison to a loss of $5.7 billion previously. Sony originally predicted net profit of $404 million, overall sales increasing by 4.7 percent to $72 million.

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