Last fall's devastating floods in Thailand played havoc with Sony's ability to fulfill orders and were largely responsible for the company's $2.04-billion net loss in its last quarter, CFO Masaru Kato said in a conference call today (Thursday). "Several production facilities in Thailand suffered direct damage during the floods and supply chains across the region were disrupted," he said. It was a particularly hard time for the company to be hit, given that the quarter includes the crucial holiday sales period. Sales of consumer products fell 24.4 percent to $12.77 billion, it said. The continued strength of the yen against other world currencies, particularly the falling euro, didn't help either. And while Sony Pictures recorded a 7.7percent bump in gross earnings, net profits for the studio plunged 85 percent, due to a large slate of releases that required higher expenditures on promotion and marketing. The film unit also was stung by the disappointing performance of Arthur Christmas , which reportedly cost more than $100 million to produce, but which brought in $146 million worldwide -- not enough to put it into the black after payouts to theater chains and costs for distribution and marketing are taken into consideration.

02/02/2012