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Friday, October 19, 2012
Sony to Cut Staff, Consolidate Manufacturing Sites

Sony on Friday said it will cut staff in its headquarters by a fifth and shutter a factory making camera lenses and mobile phones in Japan, under its restructuring measures announced last April.

In order to enhance the efficiency of Sony's manufacturing operations relating to its digital imaging business, the manufacture of interchangeable lenses and lens blocks currently being conducted at Sony EMCS Corp.'s Minokamo Site (located in Minokamo, Gifu Prefecture) will be absorbed by EMCS Corp.'s Kohda Site (located in Kohda, Aichi Prefecture), Sony daid. As Sony concentrates its mobile phone business on the area of smartphones, the operations currently being carried out at the Minokamo Site relating to mobile phones will be partially discontinued and partially transferred to Sony EMCS Corp.'s Kisarazu Site. Sony plans to close the Minokamo Site by the end of March 2013.

Sony Corporation and Sony EMCS Corp. will also offer their employees early retirement programs. Sony expects these measures to result in headcount reduction of approximately 2,000 employees by the end of FY12, with approximately half of the reductions (1,000 employees) to be in support functions, including the headquarters of Sony.

Sony has already transferred approximately 1,800 employees outside the Sony Group with the sale of its chemical products businesses in late September 2012.

Around another 2,000 workers will be also trimmed in Europe, half at a joint mobile phone venture with Ericsson it recently ended. The remaining job losses will be at other factories around the world, the company said.

Sony expects the job cuts to save about 30 billion yen ($378.6 million) a year, funds the company needs as it struggles to stem losses in televisions and other consumer electronics operations.

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