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Sony troubles persist: Factories said to be target of staff cuts

Sony is trying to make its consumer electronics business profitable. And that appears to require more cuts at production facilities.

Sony Vaio Pro.  Demand for Sony PCs has slumped, says Nikkei.
Sony Vaio Pro. Demand for Sony PCs has slumped, says Nikkei.

Financial woes continue to weigh on Sony as it looks to cut staff at production facilities, according to a Japanese report.

The consumer electronics maker will offer early retirement packages for employees at Sony EMCS, a wholly owned production subsidiary, according to a Nikkei report on Tuesday.

The subsidiary operates five production facilities in Japan and employs 5,000 people.

Sony President Kazuo Hirai has been on a crusade to revive its electronics business, which has been beset by losses. The goal was to be profitable by this fiscal year.

On October 31, Sony cut its profit forecast for the fiscal year after reporting a net loss of 19.3 billion yen (about $183 million) in the second quarter and trimmed its sales forecasts at that time for consumer products such as TVs, PCs, and digital cameras.

Sony implemented staff cuts last year of 10,000.

Its electronics business has been hit especially hard by competition from South Korean electronics giants, according to Nikkei.

And changing consumer tastes have also had an impact on its core electronics products. "Demand for digital cameras and computers has slumped with the rise of smartphones and tablets, and economic growth in emerging markets is flagging," Nikkei said.

In a separate development, Sony and Panasonic, as reported earlier, have ended a joint venture to make panels for large-screen TVs based on OLED technology.

Updated on December 31 at 8:15 a.m. PST: corrects dollar conversion figure.