Panasonic OZ Struggles As Japan Delivers $10 Billion Loss

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Panasonic Australia, who saw their TV revenues “plunge” last year due to “rampant” TV discounting, is set to move into new categories as their parent Company gets set to announce massive $10 Billion loss.According to senior Panasonic Australia executives, the Company is set to launch a new range of LED TVs in May; however, executives are unable to ascertain whether they will be “competitive” with their new range as pricing has not been set due to currency fluctuations.

One area where Panasonic Australia is looking for success is in the appliance market with the Company set to launch several new appliance models in the second half.
 
At the weekend Panasonic announced that they were facing a $9.2 billion loss for the year to March, this is due in part to write downs following their Sanyo Electric acquisition and restructuring of its ailing TV division.

In Australia Panasonic has taken on the low cost Sanyo TV brand which is sold by Dick Smith and Big W.

The Japanese Company reported a 14 percent drop in sales and a major net loss in its fiscal third quarter, ended Dec. 31, 2011.

The company is also forecasting a major net loss for the entire fiscal year, which ends March 31.

In the fiscal third quarter net sales were 1,960,200 million yen, down from the prior year’s fiscal third quarter of 2,285,413. The net loss attributable to Panasonic in the quarter was 197,668 million yen, compared with the prior year’s net income of 39,983 million yen.

In its digital AVC networks segment, for the first nine months of the year sales decreased by 16 percent to 2,182.9 billion yen, from 2,585.4 billion yen a year ago. This was due mainly to sales declines in flat-panel TVs and mobile phones. Segment loss amounted to 32.7 billion yen, compared with segment profit of 101.2 billion yen a year ago, due mainly to sales decrease and price decline.

Sanyo’s 47 billion yen loss in the first nine months of the fiscal year, compared with a segment profit of 0.4 billion yen a year ago, was influenced by sales decrease, after incurring the expenses such as amortization of intangible assets recorded at the acquisition, Panasonic said. Sales decreased by 20 percent to 974.1 billion yen, compared with 1,223 billion yen a year ago.

Japanese electronics makers have also been battered by a strong yen, a sluggish economy and natural disasters in Japan and Thailand, with rivals Sony and Sharp both posting much worse than expected results earlier in the week.

“Panasonic like Sharp and Sony has structural problems,” said Makoto Kikuchi, CEO of Myojo Asset Management in Tokyo, noting that all three needed to come to grips with problems in their TV businesses.

 

Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the debt ratings of Sony and Panasonic last month and retained a negative outlook for both, citing their continued losses on TVs.

The company’s president, Fumio Ohtsubo, is due to hold a news conference after the earnings announcement regarding the company’s growth strategy on Monday.

Panasonic shares initially fell in early trade, extending the previous day’s slide to their lowest in more than 30 years on the relentless succession of bad news from the electronics sector. By mid-morning, however, they had rebounded, to trade up 2.2 percent at 605 yen.

The maker of Viera TVs and Lumix cameras has also said it would cut 17,000 jobs by March of this year.

Panasonic acquired Sanyo Electric last year, eyeing its environment-related businesses in batteries and solar energy, but has also had to deal with overlapping businesses in mature sectors such as consumer electronics and household appliances.

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