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Sony predicts deeper losses after impairment from smartphones

Electronics arm continues to struggle; firm suspends dividends for first time in 56 years

Sony predicts deeper losses after impairment from smartphones
Sony’s premium Xperia range has struggled to find consumers.

Sony Corp today announced an increased net loss projection following a sizeable impairment charge from its blighted smartphone unit, and declared it not pay dividends this financial year for the first time since listing in 1958, according to a report from Reuters.

Sony's premium Xperia range has struggled to find consumers. In the US the handsets are only offered by number-four carrier T-Mobile US and the devices have also met with limited success in China, due to cheaper domestic alternatives.

The company is now projecting a JPY230bn ($2.15bn) net loss for the year ending March 31, 2015, in contrast to its previous forecast of a JPY50bn, following the addition of the impairment charge of JPY180bn.

The downward adjustment is the sixth under CEO Kazuo Hirai, who was appointed in 2012 and pledge sweeping changes to rescue the company's struggling electronics division, mainly involving a focus on mobile, gaming and imaging.

"This is the first time we've not paid a dividend and we feel that responsibility as management very heavily," Hirai told reporters.

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