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said net profit tumbled 95% in the third quarter, as the global slump hurt sales of its core electronics products.

The Japanese electronics giant said net profit plunged to 10.4 billion yen ($115.6 million) from 200.2 billion yen a year earlier. The operating loss in the quarter was 18 billion yen, a reversal from operating profit a year earlier of 236 billion yen. Sony attributed the operating loss to factors such as the rise in the yen, and a loss in its financial services segment because of declines in the Japanese stock market.

Revenue in the third quarter fell 25% to 2.15 trillion yen.

The earnings report showed the damage is greatest at Sony's core electronics division, which accounts for more than half of its total revenue and makes the brands for which it is best known -- from Walkman music players to Bravia TV sets.

The division, long a dependable source of profit as the company struggled to turn around its entertainment and other businesses, booked a 15.9 billion yen operating loss during the October-December quarter. That period includes the key holiday shopping season, usually a boon for electronics sales.

The company said much of the loss was down to the poor performance of its mobile phone joint venture, Sony Ericsson.

Sony has announced previously some restructuring measures, including cutting 8,000 of its 185,000 jobs around the world and shuttering five or six plants -- about 10% of its 57 factories.

Like fellow consumer electronics makers








, Sony last week slashed its earnings projection for the fiscal year through March to a 150 billion yen net loss, a reversal from 369.4 billion yen profit the previous year.

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