Sony May Not Meet LCD TV Sales Target, President Says

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Sony Corp., the world’s second-largest consumer electronics maker, may miss its target for liquid- crystal-display television sales on lower-than-expected revenue in North America and Europe, the company’s president said.

The company’s 16 million units target for the 12 months ending March is “tough to reach,” President Ryoji Chubachi said in an interview with Bloomberg Television today. “We characterize the environment for our year-end sales as severe.”

Confidence among U.S. consumers unexpectedly dropped in December to a record on growing anxiety over the lack of jobs and U.K. consumer confidence fell to the lowest since at least 2004. Tokyo-based Sony said last month a “much” larger-than-anticipated deterioration in the economy spurred it to cut thousands of jobs, curb investments and might cause it to revise its profit targets.

Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd., Japan’s largest department store, and J. Front Retailing Co., operator of Daimaru and Matsuzakaya stores, said Jan. 3 revenue from New Year bargain sales at their main outlets fell as consumers curbed spending.

Sony originally planned to sell 17 million LCD TVs this fiscal year and cut the projection to 16 million in October. The company’s bigger rival, Panasonic Corp., also forecast in November that sales of its flat-panel TVs, including LCD and plasma-screen TVs, would fall short of its earlier 11 million sales unit estimate.

Lower Panasonic Target

Panasonic’s flat-panel TV sales may top 10 million units in the year ending March, President Fumio Otsubo told reporters on Nov. 27.

Sony announced last month it is cutting 16,000 jobs, including full-time employees and temporary workers, as consumers curb spending on TVs, game machines and music players amid a global recession.

Chubachi separately told reporters that he expects Japan’s economy “to show some good signs sometime in the middle of this year, or later.”

Sony shares rose 7.6 percent today to close at 2,120 yen on the Tokyo Stock Exchange before Chubachi’s comment.

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Through out my years, Sony has been a passion of mine.

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