Belfast Telegraph

Electronics giant Panasonic posts massive £865m loss

Japanese firm Panasonic stayed in the red in the latest quarter and projected a huge annual loss due to slumping TV sales and the strong yen.

The company reported a loss of 105.8 billion yen (£864.8 million) for the July-September quarter today.

The company now expects a loss of 420 billion yen (£3.4 billion) for the fiscal year to March 2012, down sharply from an earlier projection of a 30 billion yen (£245.2 million) profit.

Panasonic, which makes Viera TVs and Lumix cameras, slumped to a 30.4 billion yen (£248.5 million) loss in the April-June quarter, hit by damages and lost sales from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Despite signs of recovery from the disaster, the company faces new challenges, including the global economic slump, slowing demand in emerging markets and the strong yen. Sales were down in flat panel TVs, car electronics and mobile phones.

Earlier today, Japanese authorities intervened in the currency market to weaken the yen against the dollar and ease pressure on Japanese exporters. That caused the dollar to jump nearly 5% to above 79 yen after earlier touching a post-Second World War low of 75.32 yen - a level that is excruciating for exporters.

Panasonic said its sales dropped 6% to 2.08 trillion yen (£16.3 billion) during the July-September quarter from a year earlier.

It suffered a loss of 136.2 billion yen (£1.1 billion) during the first six months of the business year, compared with 74.7 billion yen (£610.6 million) profit a year earlier. Its sales fell by 8% to 4 trillion yen (£31.4 billion). Overseas sales fell more than those at home, the company said.

Panasonic stock closed down 2.1% at 809 yen (£6.61) on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which closed just before the earnings report was released.

Belfast Telegraph

Weekly Business Digest Newsletter

This week's business news headlines, directly to your inbox every Tuesday.