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Sony warns of first loss in 14 years

Consumer electronics giant Sony warned Thursday that it would record a $2.9 billion operating loss this year, its first annual loss in 14 years.

The company, which blamed the loss on sliding demand for its products and a stronger yen, said it would detail plans to restructure late Thursday, according to a Reuters report. The warning follows reports Wednesday that Sony planned to close two television factories and shed 2,000 jobs in Japan.

Sony also said it expects to post a net loss of $1.65 billion in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2009. In October, the company forecasted a $1.65 billion profit.

The company announced in December that it planned to lay off 8,000 workers in its electronics business worldwide as part of a broader plan to trim expenses and tighten its focus in a difficult financial climate. Sony, which currently has a full-time global workforce of 160,000, also said it planned to eliminate an additional 8,000 jobs, mostly contract workers and temporary employees.

Sony has stated that its goals are to reduce investment in the electronics business by about 30 percent in the coming fiscal year and to reduce the total number of manufacturing sites by about 10 percent, from the current total of 57.

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