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TOKYO, Feb 20 AFP

February 20 2013, 10:06PM

Sony says it will book a $US1.2 billion ($A1.16 billion) gain from selling part of an online medical services unit, the Japanese electronics giant's latest asset sale as it eyes a full-year profit.

The firm has announced a massive corporate overhaul that includes thousands of job cuts and the sale of a chemical division and its US headquarters in Manhattan.

It is also investing in Olympus to tap the camera and medical equipment maker's strong foothold in the global market for endoscopes used in surgery.

On Wednesday - when it is also expected to unveil its latest PlayStation games console - Sony said it would book a one-time gain of 115 billion yen by selling a six per cent stake in M3 Inc. to Deutsche Securities.

The unit supplies online medical information to doctors.

Sony, which would still own about 50 per cent of M3 after the sale, said the move was part of a bid to "transform" its business and "reorganise assets" and that it would still remain M3's major shareholder.

The maker of Bravia televisions lost 456.66 billion yen in the last fiscal year, its fourth year in the red, but says it is still on track for a 20 billion yen net profit in the year to March.

Sony is expected to announce the launch of the latest PlayStation console in the United States on Wednesday as it faces growing competition from cheap - or sometimes free - downloadable games for smartphones and tablets.

Its PlayStation 3 has sold more than 75 million units, while over 155 million units of the PlayStation 2 have been sold since its debut in 2000, making it one of the best-selling videogame consoles of all time.