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Sony to disclose cash flow by business segment

Japan electronics maker moves toward more transparent disclosures

Sony headquarters in Tokyo.

TOKYO -- Sony plans to report the cash flow of individual business segments as part of a broader effort to bolster information disclosure to better serve investors. 

The detailed disclosures could start as early as the fiscal year beginning in April. Besides providing additional information to investors, the company hopes to make individual business segments more aware of earnings indicators that sway its stock price. 

 Atsuko Murakami, a Sony senior general manager overseeing the finance department, discussed operating and investment cash flow trends for various operations at a meeting with investors on July 31. But she did not provide monetary figures at that time.

Sony considers cash flow a key measure of business health. The company has set an aggregate operating cash flow target, excluding financial services, of at least 2 trillion yen ($18 billion) by fiscal 2020.

The company sets a minimum profitability target for investments for each business operation and by nation. More detailed financial disclosures would make segments more conscious of outside observers' decision-making on where to invest.

Sony already breaks down a number of financial metrics by business segment, including sales, operating profit, return on investment and depreciation costs. In addition, first-quarter supplemental data showed the company's assumed full-year exchange rates for currencies such as the Chinese yuan and Brazilian real.

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