Sony expects annual net loss of 260 billion yen

TOKYO, May 23, 2011 (AFP) - Japan's Sony Monday said it revised its forecast for the fiscal year ended March and now expects a net loss of 260 billion yen ($3.1 billion) compared with a February estimate of a 70 billion yen profit.

It said consolidated sales and operating revenue are expected to be in line with February's forecasts despite the impact of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami on production.

But the entertainment and technology giant said it would book a 360 billion yen non-cash tax-related charge.

It also said a data breach that saw millions of online accounts compromised will result in a $170 million hit to operating profit this year in terms of insurance and damages costs.

Chief financial officer Masaru Kato said the estimate did not include costs related to possible lawsuits over the data breach.

"At this moment, we have not received any reports of credit card data being abused, but any such cases would change the cost estimated for the damage," he told a news conference.

"There are some lawsuits being filed. These costs are not being factored in in the estimated damage."

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