Sony's restructuring drive on the verge of completion, CEO claims

Sony's chief executive Kazuo Hirai says that the ailing firm's restructuring efforts are pushing ahead, and Sony aims to be back in profit by the end of next March.

Credit: Sony

Sony's chief executive Kazuo Hirai says that the company will complete a relentless restructuring drive in the current fiscal year, with the aim of turning a profit by March 2015.

At a news conference on Thursday, the Sony executive admitted that Sony's two consecutive years of net losses was "very serious," worrying investors no end and falling short of expectations, Reuters reports. Hirai, who took the helm as CEO in 2012, also admitted that the electronics firm has failed to respond quickly enough to changes in modern-day business, rising competition, and changing consumer trends.

In February, Sony reached a deal with investment fund Japan Industrial Partners to sell its PC business and Vaio portfolio. The move was touted as a restructuring effort which determined the PC and television business is no longer a profit driver for Sony, and by selling them off, the company is free to focus on mobile technology development — which the company has already begin to do through the revamp of product development and part procurement .

However, the sale will slash employee numbers by 5,000 , adding thousands of axed employees to redundancy lists from Japan , Australia and New Zealand . The loss of the PC business cost Sony $138bn in the last quarter, and the company said a bigger annual loss is expected due to the expenses stemming from the sale, including restructuring charges and dealing with excess inventory.

Sony is aiming for an operating profit of 400 billion yen ($3.9bn) in the 2015-2016 fiscal year, up from a target of 140 billion yen in the current tax year.

The electronics maker said last year that changes are necessary amid "drastic changes" in the global PC market, and a need for the company to focus on mobile technology to remain competitive in the future.

In addition, Hirai said at the conference the company has "no intention" of exiting the television business, despite the unit racking up nothing but losses in the past decade.