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Sony warns of impending loss

SONY projected it would report its first annual net loss in 14 years yesterday, and Chief Executive Howard Stringer vowed to turn around the company with pay cuts, job reductions and trendier gadgets.

"The massive economic upheaval being experienced across the globe is sparing no one in the consumer electronics world," Stringer said at a hastily called news conference at Sony's Tokyo headquarters after it announced the earnings revision.

Battered by slumping sales and a strong yen, the Japanese electronics and entertainment company expects to sink into a 150-billion-yen (US$1.7 billion) net loss for the fiscal year through March, a reversal from a 369.4-billion-yen profit the previous year.

To cope with the slowdown, Sony Corp said last month it would cut 8,000 of its 185,000 jobs around the world and shutter five or six plants ?? about 10 percent of its 57 factories. It would also trim 8,000 temporary workers who aren't included in the global workforce tally.

Sony said it plans to cut another 1,000 temporary workers in Japan and close one of two domestic TV plants.

Sony also will offer early retirement packages to its regular, full-time workers in an effort to cut 30 percent of its personnel costs in its TV business by March 2010. It refused to give a head count but said they are part of the 8,000 job cuts announced earlier.

Stringer also said he and two other top executives, including President Ryoji Chubachi, will give up their entire bonuses, reducing their annual pay by half. Other executives and managers will see lower pay.



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