Sony, one of Japan’s electronic and multimedia giants, seems to be looking for a fresh way to return the company to profitability, as it revealed on Thursday that it will position the company’s financial services and entertainment businesses as its key growth drivers. Sony revealed that it also plans to finish restructuring its struggling electronics segment this fiscal year.
Sony President and Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai said the company is setting its goals for an operating profit of around 400 billion yen (around USD$3.91 billion) in 2015. This was revealed at Sony’s 2014 corporate strategy meeting. Sony looked to be optimistic in the beginning of 2013, expecting to generate profit, but ultimately ended the year with around 128 billion yen in losses. The company has said it expects to book a 50 billion yen loss this fiscal year, something of a surprise since Sony rarely publicizes forecasts of losses. With this new forecast, Hirai has effectively retracted the initial target set at 8.5 trillion yen in sales and an operating profit margin of at least 5% in fiscal 2014.
“Entertainment and financial services are our main businesses with over a quarter century of history,” Hirai said. He then proposed an outline and strategy for growth that would bolster the entertainment business by beefing up its programming in the U.S. Hirai also said that the company is looking to turn its nursing care segment into the fourth pillar of the financial services business after life insurance, nonlife insurance and banking. These two businesses together generated over 270 billion yen of operating profit in 2013 for Sony, and Hirai is keen to rebuild the company around them.