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Sony reduces loss on sales recovery, restructuring

TOKYO -- Sony Corp. reported Thursday a smaller flow of red ink for the fiscal second quarter on a sales recovery and restructuring efforts and stuck to its full year forecast for a return to profit from its worst loss in company history the previous year.

The Japanese electronics and entertainment company recorded a 15.5-billion-yen (US$193 million yen) loss for the July-September period, much better than the 27-billion-yen loss racked up the same period the previous year. Quarterly sales improved 1.9 percent to 1.6 trillion yen (US$20 billion).

The Tokyo-based maker of Bravia TVs and the PlayStation 3 game machine remains in deep trouble as does much of the Japanese electronics industry — slammed by cheaper competition in flat-panel TVs, and by Apple Inc., of the U.S., and South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. in mobile devices.

Sony, which reported a record annual loss of 457 billion yen (US$5.7 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, its fourth straight year of red ink, stuck to its forecast to eke out a 20-billion-yen (US$250 million) profit for the current fiscal year.

Sony has promised to reshape its sprawling business, which includes video games, movies and music, to focus more on certain sectors such as mobile devices, game machines and medical equipment.

Sony is becoming the top shareholder in Japanese medical equipment maker Olympus Corp. Olympus holds the top global market share in endoscopes, which are special devices that enter the body to look inside organs for checkups and surgery.

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Executive vice president of Japan's electronics giant Sony, Masaru Kato, takes part in a press conference as the company announces its first-half financial results in Tokyo, ...

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