Panasonic Corp, the world’s largest maker of plasma televisions, reported a 24 percent increase in quarterly net income after government incentives for energy-saving electronics boosted sales in Japan.
Net income rose to ￥40 billion (US$491 million) in the three months ended Dec. 31 from ￥32.3 billion a year earlier, the Osaka-based company said in a statement yesterday. That missed the ￥44.7 billion average of four analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Japan’s biggest maker of home appliances is benefiting from Japan’s “eco-point” program for TVs, refrigerators and air conditioners. Shipments of flat-panel sets jumped fivefold in November before the government halved incentives the following month, research firm BCN Inc said. Shipments of air conditioners and refrigerators gained 63 percent in November, according to the Japan Electrical Manufacturers’ Association.
“Domestic sales of white goods and TVs were the driver for Panasonic during the quarter,” said Shiro Mikoshiba, an analyst at Nomura Holdings Inc. “Those segments probably made up for sluggish overseas sales of TVs, cameras and batteries.”
Operating profit declined to ￥95.3 billion from ￥101 billion. Sales rose 21 percent to ￥2.29 trillion. The company kept its forecast for an annual net income of ￥85 billion unchanged, operating profit of ￥310 billion and sales of ￥8.9 trillion.
Panasonic rose 0.1 percent to close at ￥1,126 in Tokyo trading before the results were announced. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 1.8 percent.