Net Loss Of $61.8 Million

Sony Corp. reports that Sony BMG posted a fourth quarter net loss of $61.8 million on sales of $962 million for the three months ended March 31. Results for the joint venture include $92 million in restructuring charges before taxes.

Sony claimed an equity net loss of ´3.1 billion ($29 million) from the joint venture for the quarter.

Comparable figures from a year ago for the joint venture were not available. In Sony's fiscal third quarter Sony BMG recorded net income of $21 million on sales of $1.5 billion, including a $168 million pre-tax restructuring charge.

From the start of the joint venture on Aug. 1 to the end of Sony's fiscal year, Sony BMG has posted a net loss of $66 million on sales of $3.3 billion, including pre-tax restructuring charges of $290 million.

For the fiscal year, Sony recorded an equity net loss of ´3.4 billion ($32 million) from the joint venture.

Among Sony's other divisions, Sony's remaining music assets -- which include Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) and Sony ATV music publishing -- posted an operating income loss of $25 million on revenues of $366 million for the fiscal fourth quarter. For the year, the music division posted operating income of ´8.8 billion ($82 million) on sales of ´249.5 billion ($2.3 billion).

In the electronics business, Sony's audio revenues fell 19.4% to ´106.4 billion ($995 million), due to slumping portable audio sales amid the shift from CD players to flash and hard drive based devices. Annual revenues for the audio segment decreased 15.3% to ´571.8 billion ($5.34 billion).

The company's games division posted a fourth quarter profit of ´1.4 billion ($14 million), rebounding from a loss of ´6.8 billion in the fourth quarter last year. Revenues increased 75% to ´222.1 billion ($2.07 billion) thanks to strong PlayStation portable sales. For the year operating income slipped 36% to ´43.2 billion ($404 million). Sales slipped 6.5% to ´729.8 billion ($6.8 billion). Since its launch, Sony has shipped 2.97 million units of PSP worldwide.

Overall Sony posted an expanded fourth quarter net loss of ´56.5 billion ($528 million) vs. a net loss of ´38.1 billion a year ago. Sales decreased 4.2% to ´1.69 trillion ($15.8 billion). For the year, net income grew 85% to ´163.8 billion ($1.53 billion). Sales fell 4.5% to ´7.15 trillion ($66.9 billion).