You know the recession is really in force when a company as large as Sony starts to feel the effects. According to Japanese publication Nikkei (as reported by Reuters), Sony is set to break the trend of nearly a decade and a half and post its first operating loss in 14 years.
The news could perhaps be considered slightly less surprising in the wake of Sony announcing that it would be cutting the jobs of 8 000 full-time staff and the same number form its part-time roster by 2010, although it is still entirely unexpected. In October Sony predicted a ¥200 billion (£1.51 billion) profit for the 2008 to 2009 financial year.
According to Nikkei, Sony's loss for that period could end up being twice as great as that forecast, which suggests either that Nikkei's source is barking up the wrong tree to a significant degree or that the last few months have really hit Sony hard. Looking at the rapid drop of Sony's share value recently, the latter scenario seems pretty likely.
Sony's take? Inevitably "Sony understands that a story appeared in the media regarding Sony's expectations on operating results for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2009. Sony has made no announcement in this regard and at this time has no further comment."