Panasonic incurs first annual loss in six years

May 15th, 2009 - 5:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Tokyo, May 15 (DPA) Panasonic Corp suffered its first annual loss in six years because of shrinking demand and harsh price competition amid the global economic downturn, the company said Friday.
Panasonic joined other Japanese electronics’ companies in reporting a net loss for the year that ended March 31. It was in the red by 379 billion yen ($3.97 billion), which was a turnaround from a record profit of 281.88 billion yen the year before.

As sales declined 14 percent from the previous year to 7.77 trillion yen, operating profit plunged 86 percent to 72.9 billion yen, the firm said.

The major plasma-display maker suffered a sales drop in its television department as global economic turmoil caused demand for the devices to wane.

Sales of video and audio equipment decreased 6 percent from the previous year, due mainly to sluggish sales for such products as plasma TVs, digital cameras and car-electronics sales.

But by cutting 15,000 jobs in its global workforce and shutting about 40 plants by March, Panasonic said it was trying to reduce costs by 135 billion yen during the current fiscal year.

For the current fiscal year, the company expected to narrow its net loss to 195 billion yen and increase operating profit by 3 percent to 75 billion yen. Sales were expected to drop further, however, by 10 percent to 7 trillion yen.

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