Sony shares topple to 31-year low after record losses

Investors punish Sony after dismal financial results.

Sony's share price has fallen to a 31-year low following the announcement of the company's record 456.7 billion yen (3.5bn) annual loss.

Shares fell by 6.7 per cent to 1132 yen (8.79) in response to Sony's latest financial results, announced yesterday. That report revealed that sales of PS3s, PS2s and PSPs were all down year-on-year.

But Sony boss Kaz Hirai has forecast a healthier outlook for the year ahead, including a return to profit for the firm's gaming division and an ambitious sales forecast for PlayStation Vita.

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There's no use hiding.

Today's dramatic decline in share price suggests that investors remain worried by Sony's financial future, however.

"Sony is facing a lot of difficulties and the new president has not been able to produce a clear plan as to how he will turn around the company," Yuuki Sakurai, president of Japanese finance firm Fukoku Capital Management, told BBC News.

"Even the little that investors have heard, they are not very impressed with."

Sony was aware such losses were coming - the company last month braced investors it would announce the biggest loss for a decade.

To combat this, Kaz Hirai's "One Sony" vision for the company's future involves focusing efforts on just three areas: "digital imaging, game and mobile". The new plan was accompanied by the confirmation of 10,000 lay-offs.

Hirai commented at the time that the company's PS3, Vita and peripheral sales were "generating steady profit".

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