Sony suffered through its worst year ever in 2011, and not just because of the high-profile hacker attacks that compromised millions of user accounts and resulted in extended downtime to the PlayStation Network. The real reason Sony can lament 2011 is because of the fact that it posted a net loss of $5.7 billion, the company's largest loss ever in its 66-year history, and the fourth straight year of sitting in the red.
If there's a silver lining to the dark and gloomy cloud, it's that Sony had previously forecast a loss of $6.5 billion. Overall, however, it was an obviously crummy year for the electronics juggernaut, and not for any single reason. Sony blamed the poor performance on foreign exchange rates, earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan, floods in Thailand, and general "deterioration in market conditions in developed countries."
According to VentureBeat, Sony CFO Masaru Kato indicated that "This year remains crucial for a recovery in our electronics business. A fifth straight year of losses should never be tolerated."
Investors reacted negatively to the news with shares of Sony on the Tokyo Stock Exchange sliding 6.43 percent to 1,135 yen, a 38 percent drop from this year's high of 1,832 yen back in March, and the lowest it's been in three decades, The Register reports.
The full financial report is available here (PDF).