Consumer electronics giant Sony (s SNE) today announced that it would report a record loss of almost $3 billion, as the company said it was slammed by the economic downturn. This is the first net loss for the company in 14 years. As part of a cost cutting plan, Sony CEO Howard Stringer said the company would cut 8,000 jobs from its 185,000 global workforce. Much of the operating loss came from Sony’s TV business, and the company plans to shutter one of its two domestic TV plants.
Sony is looking at an operating loss of 260 billion yen (roughly $2.9 billion) for this business year, which is a far cry from the 475.3 billion yen profit the company enjoyed last year. Sony’s latest estimate is 60 billion yen lower than what it anticipated.
Unfortunately for Sony, 2009 isn’t projected to be any better. In December, DisplaySearch predicted that this year LCD TV revenues would fall year-on-year for the first time since they were introduced in 2000 and that 2009 would be the toughest year yet for the TV industry and supply chain.
It’s too bad that in a year where the television set is going through dramatic changes — like connecting directly to the Internet for video, incorporating remote-less gesture controls, and implementing widgets to augment and socialize the TV viewing experience — no one will be able to afford them.