Panasonic posts $4 billion annual loss

May 15, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Joining a growing list of Japanese electronics makers including Sony yesterday, Panasonic Corp. reported a ¥378.96 billion ($4 billion) net loss for the year ended March 2009, fallen victim to a stronger yen and an unprecedented slump in global demand.  On Thursday, rival Sony reported a loss of $1bn US for the financial year. This is the first yearly loss for Panasonic since fiscal 2001, after the information technology bubble burst. In 2008 the firm earned a net profit of ¥281.88 billion.

Overseas sales were hit particularly hard as the strong yen made Japanese exports more expensive for consumers around the world. Sales of flat screen TVs, digital cameras, home appliances and semiconductors fell.

For the just-ended fourth quarter, Panasonic recorded a net loss of ¥444.3 billion compared with a net profit of Y61.6 billion in the previous year. The loss was slightly less then the ¥468.5 billion forecast compiled by Thomson Reuters’ data services arm, Thomson Financial, based on 17 analysts’ forecasts.  The company intends to continue with restructuring during the year ending March 2010, for which it has presented a dim earnings forecast of a ¥195 billion net loss. It also sees an operating profit of ¥75 billion, up 2.9%, and revenue at ¥7 trillion, a drop of 9.9%.  Earlier this year, the group, which is the world’s largest maker of plasma TVs, announced 15,000 job cuts and 27 plant closures worldwide.


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