• Kyodo

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Sony Corp. said Monday it expects to fall into the red in fiscal 2010 for the third straight year with a group net loss of ¥260 billion, due mainly to the effects of the March 11 disasters.

The loss would be the company’s biggest since the ¥293.3 billion one it posted in the business year ended in March 1995.

The electronics giant has been in the red on a net balance basis since fiscal 2008, when it was hit by the global economic downturn ushered in by the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in September 2008.

Sony had earlier expected a group net profit of ¥70 billion for the year ended March 31.

The company left its group operating profit estimate unchanged at ¥200 billion but is now expecting to record sales of ¥7.18 trillion, down from the earlier projected ¥7.2 trillion.

Sony, currently dealing with a data breach that affected over 100 million accounts mainly in its PlayStation gaming network, said it expects to see a impact of about ¥150 billion on its operating balance this year from the quake and tsunami.

It is scheduled to announce its fiscal 2010 earnings on Thursday.

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