Sony to cut 1,000 more jobs as smart phone losses mount: report

Japanese electronics giant Sony plans to cut an additional 1,000 jobs in its smart phone business, mainly in Europe and China, as the company looks to make the business profitable.

With the latest round of job-cuts, Sony's workforce will shrink by roughly 30 per cent to 5,000 as of the end of the fiscal year through March 2016.

Sony had, last October, announced plans to eliminate around 1,000 jobs, mainly in smart phone operations, in a move to improve earnings.

Sony is expected to detail its restructuring plan when releasing its April-December earnings on 2 February.

The company, however, sought regulatory approval for extension of deadline to file quarterly securities report for the third quarter of the fiscal year ending 31 March 2015.

Sony Corporation said the director-general of the Kanto Finance Bureau of Japan on Tuesday approved Sony's application for an extension of the deadline to file its quarterly securities report for the third quarter of the fiscal year ending 31 March 2015, pursuant to provisions of the Cabinet Office Ordinance on Disclosure of Corporate Information, etc.

Sony is expected to report roughly 180 billion yen ($1.5 billion) in impairment losses in its smart phone business this fiscal year due to stiff competition with Chinese manufacturers.

While the smart phone business is expected to register an operating loss of around 200 billion yen this fiscal with possible further losses next fiscal, Sony aims to make it profitable in fiscal 2016 with the additional restructuring measures and other steps.

Sony's other business segments such as image sensors and games are doing well, but the company is unlikely to miss its forecast of a 40 billion yen consolidated operating loss this fiscal year.

Sony is expected to sell 41 million smart phones this fiscal, 9 million less than the initial target. It is also planning to sharply scale back Chinese sales while stepping up partnerships with mobile carriers in markets such as the US and Japan.

Sony plans to limit the product lineup by about 30 per cent and focus on high-value-added models priced at 30,000 yen and above, including unique smart phones that draw on its image sensor technologies. Sony also plans to develop new smart phone applications, including in the realm of internet of things.