Five questions answered on Sony’s slashing of its full-year profit projections

What has Sony said about its revised forecasts?

Japanese-based Sony has slashed its full-year profit forecast by 40 per cent. We answer five questions on the electronic giants profit falling predictions.

What’s Sony’s revised forecast for its profits?

The company is now anticipating to make a net profit of 30bn yen ($305; £190m) in the financial year to 31 March 2014.

This is down from earlier estimates of 50bn yen.

Why has Sony downgraded is profit estimates?

In the July-to-September quarter Sony’s loss widened from 25 per cent from a year ago to 19.3bn yen.

Its Pictures division was a key factor; it made a considerable loss due to some high profile failures. This particular division which includes movie production and TV shows, recorded an operating loss of 17.8bn yen during the period. This is compared to an operating profit of 7.9bn a year earlier.

What has Sony said about its revised forecasts?

"The current quarter reflects the theatrical underperformance of White House Down, while the previous fiscal year included the strong theatrical performance of the Amazing Spider-Man," the firm said in a statement.

What other problems has Sony had?

Things such as a decline in television licensing revenue due to fewer movies being licensed year-on-year, increased competition and slowing global demand for TVs and a decline in TV prices have all had a detrimental effect on the company.

Sony's TV division posted an operating loss of 9.3bn yen for the three months to the end of September.

The firm said that the division's earnings were hurt after it cut the price of its PlayStation Vita consoles.

Its Game division made an operating loss of 800m yen during the period, compared to an operating profit of 2.3bn yen during the same quarter last year.

What about Sony’s competitors - how are they doing?

Sharp and Panasonic reported profits for the July-to-September quarter.

Panasonic reported a net profit of 61.5bn yen for the period, reversing a loss of 698bn yen during the same period a year ago.

Sharp reported a net profit of 13.6bn yen for the quarter, reversing a loss of 17.9bn yen in the previous three months.

It also raised its full-year profit forecast to 270bn yen in the current financial year, up from its earlier projection of 250bn yen.

Sony has slashed its full-year profit forecast by 40 per cent. Photograph: Getty Images.

Heidi Vella is a features writer for Nridigital.com

Show Hide image

Calum Kerr on Governing the Digital Economy

With the publication of the UK Digital Strategy we’ve seen another instalment in the UK Government’s ongoing effort to emphasise its digital credentials.

As the SNP’s Digital Spokesperson, there are moves here that are clearly welcome, especially in the area of skills and a recognition of the need for large scale investment in fibre infrastructure.

But for a government that wants Britain to become the “leading country for people to use digital” it should be doing far more to lead on the field that underpins so much of a prosperous digital economy: personal data.

If you want a picture of how government should not approach personal data, just look at the Concentrix scandal.

Last year my constituency office, like countless others across the country, was inundated by cases from distressed Tax Credit claimants, who found their payments had been stopped for spurious reasons.

This scandal had its roots in the UK’s current patchwork approach to personal data. As a private contractor, Concentrix had bought data on a commercial basis and then used it to try and find undeclared partners living with claimants.

In one particularly absurd case, a woman who lived in housing provided by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation had to resort to using a foodbank during the appeals process in order to prove that she did not live with Joseph Rowntree: the Quaker philanthropist who died in 1925.

In total some 45,000 claimants were affected and 86 per cent of the resulting appeals saw the initial decision overturned.

This shows just how badly things can go wrong if the right regulatory regimes are not in place.

In part this problem is a structural one. Just as the corporate world has elevated IT to board level and is beginning to re-configure the interface between digital skills and the wider workforce, government needs to emulate practices that put technology and innovation right at the heart of the operation.

To fully leverage the benefits of tech in government and to get a world-class data regime in place, we need to establish a set of foundational values about data rights and citizenship.

Sitting on the committee of the Digital Economy Bill, I couldn’t help but notice how the elements relating to data sharing, including with private companies, were rushed through.

The lack of informed consent within the Bill will almost certainly have to be looked at again as the Government moves towards implementing the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.

This is an example of why we need democratic oversight and an open conversation, starting from first principles, about how a citizen’s data can be accessed.

Personally, I’d like Scotland and the UK to follow the example of the Republic of Estonia, by placing transparency and the rights of the citizen at the heart of the matter, so that anyone can access the data the government holds on them with ease.

This contrasts with the mentality exposed by the Concentrix scandal: all too often people who come into contact with the state are treated as service users or customers, rather than as citizens.

This paternalistic approach needs to change.  As we begin to move towards the transformative implementation of the internet of things and 5G, trust will be paramount.

Once we have that foundation, we can start to grapple with some of the most pressing and fascinating questions that the information age presents.

We’ll need that trust if we want smart cities that make urban living sustainable using big data, if the potential of AI is to be truly tapped into and if the benefits of digital healthcare are really going to be maximised.

Clearly getting accepted ethical codes of practice in place is of immense significance, but there’s a whole lot more that government could be doing to be proactive in this space.

Last month Denmark appointed the world’s first Digital Ambassador and I think there is a compelling case for an independent Department of Technology working across all government departments.

This kind of levelling-up really needs to be seen as a necessity, because one thing that we can all agree on is that that we’ve only just scratched the surface when it comes to developing the link between government and the data driven digital economy. 

In January, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and the New Statesman convened a discussion on this topic with parliamentarians from each of the three main political parties and other experts.  This article is one of a series from three of the MPs who took part, with an  introduction from James Johns of HPE, Labour MP, Angela Eagle’s view and Conservative MP, Matt Warman’s view

Calum Kerr is SNP Westminster Spokesperson for Digital