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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 September 2005, 07:05 GMT 08:05 UK
Sony to cut 10,000 jobs worldwide
Sony MP3 Walkman NW-HD1
Sony was late to respond to the craze for digital music players
Electronics giant Sony has announced plans to cut 10,000 jobs worldwide as part of a restructuring programme.

The job cuts, which represent about 7% of the company's workforce, will be achieved by March 2008, the firm said.

About 4,000 jobs will go in Japan, with the remaining 6,000 cuts overseas. The company will also close or sell 11 of its 65 manufacturing plants.

Sony, which now has its first-ever non-Japanese chairman, has been losing ground to rivals in key sectors.

The company that invented the Walkman has been humbled in the portable music market by Apple's iPod, while it has also been caught out by the shift from traditional cathode-ray tube televisions to flat screens.

Losses forecast

In its announcement, which came after the close of trading on the Tokyo stock market, Sony said it expected a group net loss of 10bn yen ($90 million) in the current fiscal year.

Japan 41.1%
N America 18%
Europe 10.4%
Africa/Mid-East/SE Asia 12.8%
E Asia 15.6%
Latin America 2.1%
Source: Sony

Over the past five years, Sony shares have lost two thirds of their value. In Thursday's trading, its share price fell 2.2%.

Sony is the world's second-largest consumer electronics maker, the biggest being Matsushita. It has about 151,400 employees in 80 countries worldwide.

Its long-awaited restructuring plan follows the appointment in March of UK-born Sir Howard Stringer, the former head of its US operations, as the group's first foreign chief executive in its 59-year history.

Despite its setbacks, Sony has had success in its film division and with the PlayStation Portable games console.

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