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/ Source: Reuters

Sony Pictures Entertainment, the studio that made Oscar-nominated movies "American Hustle" and "Captain Phillips" is about to announce layoffs throughout its studio operations in the United States and abroad, a person familiar with the matter said on Monday.

Among the units that will be hit is the Sony interactive team that supports digital marketing, the source told Reuters on condition of anonymity because the information is not yet public.

Under pressure from hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb to improve profitability at its studio, Sony hired consultancy Bain & Co last year to identify more than $100 million in cost cuts through layoffs and other means. It earlier replaced its film marketing chief and said it intended to reduce its film marketing costs.

"We are continuously evolving the business to make SPE more efficient and competitive," said Sony Pictures Entertainment spokesman Charles Sipkins. He said he had no further information on how many people would be affected.

Last month, the company said operating income at its Pictures unit, which includes the studio, decreased by 4.2 percent to $231 million. The studio is releasing "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" in May.

Last month, Sony Corp's electronic unit said it is closing 20 of its 31 retail stores in the United States and cutting 1,000 jobs, as the TV and game console maker tries to stem losses and regain market share.

- Reuters