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Thursday, February 02, 2012
Sony Cuts Annual Digital Camera, PS3 Forecasts

Sony on Thursday kept its annual LCD TV sales forecast unchanged but cut its forecasts for digital camera and PlayStation 3 hardware sales.

The company reduced its digital camera sales forecast to 21 million cameras from 23 million cameras for the fiscal year ending in March, and lowered its PlayStation 3 hardware sales outlook to 14 million consoles from 15 million.

The company blamed a stronger yen, cuts in production caused by last year's Thailand floods and the cost of exiting a display-panel venture with Samsung Electronics for widening its forecast to 220 billion yen ($2.9 billion) from 90 billion yen in November.

During a news conference today, incoming Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai reaffirmed his commitment to TVs. The world's No. 3 maker is maintaining a sales target of 20 million sets, though the business may lose between 220 billion yen and 230 billion yen, including the cost of exiting the venture with Samsung. Sony has lost ground to Samsung and LG Electronics, both of which sell TVs profitably.

Hirai said he will close down less-competitive businesses and consider forming partnerships, though he will present specific plans in the future.

Sony plans to rely on its technological strengths in image sensors to expand in the field. The company developed three sensors it says are smaller, capture better images and consume less power. Sony is spending 140 billion yen by March 31 to double its production capacity of complementary metal-oxide semiconductors, or CMOS.

Sales targets for the PlayStation 3 were cut to 14 million units from 15 million. The console will have a 10-year lifespan, Hirai said recently, suggesting the five-year-old player won?t be replaced soon.

Sony cut sales projections for cameras to 21 million units from 23 million and reduced its forecast for personal-computer sales to 8.4 million from 9.4 million. Camcorder and Blu-ray disc sales also should be lower than projected, the company said.

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