• Kyodo

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Sony Corp. said Thursday it expects to return to the black on a net earnings basis in the current fiscal year for the first time in four years by increasing sales of key products such as flat-panel televisions and cost-cutting efforts in the loss-making TV business.

For fiscal 2011, which ends next March, the electronics giant said it expects a group net profit of ¥80 billion, a turnaround from a loss of ¥259.59 billion in fiscal 2010, which ended in March, and an operating profit of ¥200 billion, up 0.1 percent.

Sony said it plans to raise sales by 4.4 percent from fiscal 2010 to ¥7.5 trillion in fiscal 2011.

Sony attributed the massive net loss in fiscal 2010 to a noncash charge of ¥362.3 billion against certain deferred tax assets in Japan as the company anticipates its profitability in the current fiscal year is likely to deteriorate from what it had expected prior to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

As a result, income taxes for the fiscal year totaled ¥425.3 billion, leading Sony to report the biggest net loss since ¥293.3 billion in the business year that ended in March 1995.

For the current fiscal year, Sony expects rises in sales of liquid crystal display TVs and semiconductors, which are expected to benefit from its increased production capacity for image sensors used in smartphones and digital cameras.

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