Sony poised for push on growth after shake-up

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Sony, the consumer electronics and entertainment giant, is close to completing the restructuring of its consumer electronics division and will soon embark on a growth phase in which it will enter new business areas, its president said on Tuesday.

?I would like to complete the large-scale restructuring measures by the end of this fiscal year,? Ryoji Chubachi, Sony?s president, told the Financial Times. Sony would then ?embark in earnest on a strategy of growth, which we had kept a lid on until now?.

The comments come as Sony prepares to celebrate a year under the leadership of Sir Howard Stringer, chairman, and Mr Chubachi.

During that time, Sony has clawed back market share in the critical television market with its Bravia series of liquid crystal display TVs, sold non-core operations and achieved higher profits.

In the year to March 2006, Sony increased revenues by 4 per cent to Y7,475.4bn ($65.4bn) and pre-tax profits rose 82 per cent to Y286.3bn, helped in part by the sale of shares in subsidiaries.

Although the electronics division continued to lose money in the year just ended, owing in large part to a Y89.3bn loss by its TV division, Sony expects double-digit revenue growth from the division this year.

The group has pledged to return the TV business to profitability in the second half of this fiscal year.

Mr Chubachi said he believed he had achieved the goals he set for himself in his first year: to improve staff morale, ?to make some money? and not to talk about the corporate vision for a while.

Thanks to the success of the Bravia line-up, the once ailing TV business now ?looks OK?, Mr Chubachi said.

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