Pana­sonic says an­nual profit soared 49% to US$1.5 bil. af­ter re­struc­tur­ing

The China Post - - WORLD BUSINESS -

Ja­panese elec­tron­ics gi­ant Pana­sonic said Tues­day that its an­nual prof­its soared 49 per­cent ow­ing to strong re­sults at its lesser-known auto parts unit and lower costs linked to a sweep­ing re­struc­tur­ing.

The Osaka-based firm’s earn­ings for the fis­cal year to March surged to 179.49 bil­lion yen (US$1.5 bil­lion), although rev­enue edged down 0.3 per­cent to 7.7 tril­lion yen.

The up­beat fig­ures un­der­score how Pana­sonic’s shift to fo­cus on lesser-known busi­nesses, in­clud­ing an en­ergy and auto di­vi­sion, has helped boost its bot­tom line and made it a stand­out as ri­vals Sony and Sharp con­tinue to strug­gle.

Pana­sonic’s auto di­vi­sion makes var­i­ous prod­ucts use in ve­hi­cles, in­clud­ing elec­tri­cal com­po­nents and car nav­i­ga­tion sys­tems.

For the cur­rent fis­cal year, which started this month, Pana­sonic said it ex­pects a 180 bil­lion yen net profit on rev­enue of 8.0 tril­lion yen.

A sharply weaker yen has helped Ja­pan’s ma­jor ex­porters as it made them more com­pet­i­tive over­seas and in­flated the value of repa­tri­ated prof­its.

“Over­seas sales in­creased due mainly to strong sales in (the) au­to­mo­tive-re­lated busi­ness along with ro­bust de­mand, and a pos­i­tive ef­fect from yen de­pre­ci­a­tion,” it said in a state­ment.

Pana­sonic’s op­er­at­ing profit jumped 25 per­cent to 381.9 bil­lion yen “due to im­prove­ment ... in­clud­ing (in) busi­ness re­struc­tur­ing benefits, fixed cost re­duc­tions and ma­te­ri­als cost stream­lin­ing,” it said.

Af­ter post­ing record losses, Pana­sonic along with ri­vals Sony and Sharp have launched painful re­struc­tur­ings as fall­ing prices in their tele- vi­sion busi­nesses weighed on their bot­tom line.

As it moves away from con­sumer prod­ucts, Pana­sonic is pulling the plug on its last re­main­ing TV man­u­fac­tur­ing fac­tory in China ow­ing to a sharp decline in prices — its TV busi­ness has lost money for years.

Pana­sonic has also signed a deal with U.S. elec­tric car­maker Tesla to build a huge bat­tery-mak­ing plant in the United States.

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