Tue, Apr 29, 2014 - Page 15 News List

Panasonic posts US$1.17 billion net profit

AFP and Bloomberg, TOKYO

Japanese electronics giant Panasonic Corp on Monday booked a net profit of US$1.17 billion for the year to last month, its first annual profit in three years and reversing a huge loss in the previous 12 months as it presses on with a sweeping restructuring.

The company said it earned ¥120.44 billion (US$1.17 billion), after suffering a loss of ¥754.25 billion a year earlier, while revenue ticked up to ¥7.74 trillion from ¥7.30 trillion.

It also said it expected net profit to come in at ¥140 billion over the current fiscal year to March next year.

The company, along with rivals Sony Corp and Sharp Corp, has struggled in recent years, largely because of huge losses in their televisions units, but a sharply weaker yen over the past year has helped boost their bottom line. The trio are also undergoing painful overhauls aimed at rescuing their battered balance sheets.

Panasonic credited its profitability to the weaker currency and “corporate-wide fixed cost reductions and the streamlining of materials costs.”

Meanwhile, Japan Display Inc saw shares plunge to 25 percent below last month’s initial public offering (IPO) price after reporting preliminary earnings that missed its forecasts.

Japan Display fell 16 percent to close at ¥672. That compares with the ¥900 IPO price before the stock started trading on March 19.

The maker of screens for Apple Inc devices said it estimated operating profit of ¥27.2 billion for the year ended last month, compared with its earlier projection of ¥30.4 billion.

Customer demand for screens fell at the end of the fourth quarter and price negotiations were difficult because of lower prices for displays used in medium-range smartphones, the Tokyo-based company said. Revenue for the year was estimated at ¥614.2 billion, compared with a forecast of ¥623.4 billion.

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