Masashi Imamura told a media round table that
the TV business, which will become a separate subsidiary of Sony
Corp on July 1, had reduced fixed costs during the last
financial year, and profitability was now in sight.
He said Sony this year would be able to absorb the impact of any
fluctuations in emerging market currencies, a factor he blamed
for the unit's failure to make a profit last year.
Sony has forecast an 18.5 percent rise in TV sales to 16 million
units this year from 13.5 million units a year ago, an increase
that analysts said was well above the industry's average growth
Imamura said the sales target was achievable, but added that the
TV business would still turn a profit even if sales fell short
of this goal.
Sony's TV division will be split off from the parent company on
Tuesday, a move aimed at boosting transparency and
accountability in a bid to achieve and maintain profitability.
Sony Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai said at a corporate strategy
meeting last month that the company had not ruled out an equity
tie-up for the TV business, which is to be known as Sony Visual
Products Inc, although nothing had been decided on the matter.
Sony's TV business has seen relatively rapid turnover at the top
over the past decade with six different chiefs, although Imamura
has had the longest tenure, serving since August 2011.
Sony's shares are down 8 percent so far this year, in line with
the benchmark Nikkei average's <.N225> 7 percent drop. On
Monday, they ended 0.2 percent higher at 1,682 yen, compared
with the Nikkei's 0.4 percent rise.
Imamura's remarks came after the market closed.
(Reporting by Reiji Murai and Sophie Knight; Editing by Edmund
Klamann and Miral Fahmy)
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