Sony posts dire results for 2011 holiday season

Flooding and international markets blamed for widespread losses

Sony's just posted financial results for the final calender quarter of last year, and things didn't go as well as the company may have hoped. Most departments, including the videogame-encompassing Consumer Products and Services Division, posted losses in the concluding quarter of a year that saw the company humbled by hack attacks, weak markets and the fury of nature herself.

Sony posted a company-wide $2.03 billion loss for the quarter, with revenue dropping 17.5% from the same period last year. CP&S alone reported $1.09 billion in quarterly losses – despite continuing to push out the PS3 hardware and software alike at ever-increasing rates and gearing up for the Vita's international launch. While the division had an uphill battle recovering from the depredations of Internet pranksters, it also attributed the loss to “higher marketing costs to promote network service platforms,“ and a “strategic price reduction” for PS3 hardware – allowing sales to increase even while revenue failed to rise accordingly.

Above: Sony's Tokyo HQ has now had to contend with four consecutive years of losses

The company further attributes much of the loss to poor exchange rates and the underperformance of affiliated companies. It also cited reduced LCD television sales due to the conclusion of a government-sponsored consumer subsidy program, and flooding in Taiwan, where Sony manufactures much of its hardware. The only bright spots in the report come from the company's Pictures and Financial Services divisions, which posted yearly revenue gains of 15% and 5% respectively.

Earlier this week, Sony replaced its first non-Japanese CEO, Howard Stringer, with longtime company stalwart and PlayStation mascot Kazuo Hirai (Stringer goes on to head the company's Board of Directors). Hirai pledged to refocus the company's attention on its “core electronic businesses.”

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