Sony plans fresh price increases

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TOKYO (Reuter) - Sony plans to raise prices in overseas markets further to try to cope with the effects of the soaring yen, its executive vice-president, Tsunao Hashimoto, said.

Mr Hashimoto said the company had already raised prices overseas by an average of 2 or 3 per cent, but could increase this to as much as 10 per cent later this year. 'We have raised overseas prices already to a certain extent. With the US economy recovering and our competitors raising prices, we will do so even more,' he said.

The high yen and tough market conditions in Europe and Japan slashed export sales in the three months to 30 June, cutting revenues to Y828.71bn ( pounds 5.5bn), down 10.4 per cent on 1992/3. Group operations produced only Y25.30bn, 35.8 per cent less than the previous year.

However, Mr Hashimoto said pre-tax profit was up because of lower interest payments, as well as forward contracts the company took out to hedge against foreign exchange fluctuations.

Lower interest payments and an increase in dividends from affiliates also meant it could leave its pre-tax forecast for 1993/4 unchanged, although operational performance had dropped, he said.

Sony would also be likely to increase offshore production, especially of audio-visual products, but had not yet decided details, Mr Hashimoto said.