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Thursday, June 26, 2008
Sony Aims at Profitability on TVs, Blu-ray, Chips Business

Sony said it would invest about $17 billion in key businesses and technologies over the next three years as it aims for the top spot in the LCD TV market and ramps up sales of high-definition video equipment.

Sony today presented a series of new initiatives designed to build on its previous three-year revitalization plan and to position the company as "the leading global provider of networked consumer electronics and entertainment."

The Japansese company intends to maintain a leading position in its "trillion yen businesses" (LCD TVs, digital imaging, game and mobile phones) and will focus on expanding its PC, Blu-ray Disc-related products, and component/semiconductor businesses into "trillion yen businesses" by the end of FY2010.

"Trillion yen businesses" are businesses each generating 1 trillion yen or more of annual sales to outside customers.

At the same time, Sony expects to improve the operations of our TV business significantly and implement a variety of cost reduction measures to restore that business to profitability in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2009, and strive for the global No. 1 position in LCD TVs by FY2010.

Of the planned 1.8 trillion yen investment over the next three years, approximately 900 billion yen will be allocated towards strengthening core focus areas within components and semiconductors, such as image sensors, batteries, display devices and Blu-ray Disc-related components.

Sony is also promoting the concept of "open innovation", whereby the company is looking not only inside the company, but outside for technologies that foster innovation.

In the Game segment, Sony believes that the two key drivers of new growth are non-game content and services in tandem with enhanced network capability. Sony also expects to achieve profitability in this segment in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2009, a significant year-on-year improvement due to hardware cost reductions and an enhanced line-up of software titles for Playstation 3.

Sony plans to expand content and services available on the PS3 network platform, continue to expand the PS3 customer base through the strength of Blu-ray Disc, accelerate PS3 sales through upcoming key franchise software titles and continue PS3 cost reduction initiatives.

Sony will also increase network and wireless connectivity across its family of devices. Sony plans to expand services that will enable customers to enjoy content such as motion pictures and television programming through the network on a variety of Sony products such as BRAVIA LCD TVs, PS3, PSP and Walkman video music players. Video services across Sony's key products will be released by FY2010, starting with the summer 2008 launch on the PLAYSTATION Network. The movie download service for the PlayStation 3 will come this summer in the U.S. The service will be offered in Japan and Europe at later dates.

Sony Pictures Entertainment will offer one of the most highly anticipated films of the summer, "Hancock", exclusively to all internet connected BRAVIA LCD TVs in the U.S. before it is available on DVD. This film will be distributed to Sony customers directly to their televisions outside conventional distributors and without the need for any set-top box.

Sony also palns to double annual revenue from BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries to 2 trillion yen by FY2010.

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