Stockholm: Sony Corp, the Japanese electronics maker cutting 10,000 jobs as it tries to recover from a record loss, may eliminate as many as 1,000 positions at a mobile-phone unit in Sweden, Sydsvenska Dagbladet said.
About 3,000 people work at the unit in Lund, and the Tokyo-based company is considering moving the development of new mobile phones to Japan, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the matter. The company has called a mandatory staff meeting at 9am local time Thursday, public broadcaster Sveriges Radio said on its website.
Sony is shrinking its global workforce by about 6 per cent, closing plants and reorganising its businesses after posting a 457 billion-yen ($5.8 billion) net loss for the year ended March 31 amid slumping demand for its Bravia TVs, competition from South Korean rivals and a strong yen, which erodes earnings from overseas. The company on August 2 cut its profit forecast for the year ending March 31 to 20 billion yen from 30 billion yen.
George Boyd, a Tokyo-based spokesman for Sony, declined to comment on possible job cuts in Sweden when reached by phone Thursday.
Sony fell 1.2 per cent to 921 yen as of 11.20am in Tokyo trading, extending its losses this year to 33 per cent. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average declined 0.1 per cent.
Sony bought Ericsson AB’s half of their 10-year-old mobile-phone joint venture Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB for €1.05 billion ($1.3 billion) in February after its main TV business declined. Sony Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai is counting on digital cameras, games and mobile devices to help drive a revival, he said April 12.
The Lund Sony unit may keep development of mobile software, which could sustain as many as 1,500 jobs, Sydsvenska Dagbladet reported.
Sony’s TV and mobile-phone businesses “continue to be plagued by structural challenges, such as the commoditisation and maturity of major products, rapid technological changes, and intense global competition,” Moody’s Investors Service said in a statement on August 6, when it placed Sony’s credit ratings under review for a possible downgrade.
Sony had a 4.2 per cent share of the global smartphone market last year, lagging behind Nokia Oyj, HTC Corp and Research In Motion Ltd, according to researcher Gartner Inc. Apple Inc topped the ranking with 18.9 per cent market share, followed by Samsung Electronics Co with 18.5 per cent.