Panasonic Loss Balloons for Record Red Ink
TOKYO (AP) - Panasonic’s January-March losses ballooned 10-fold to 438 billion yen ($5 billion), completing a year of record red ink at the Japanese electronics maker battered by natural disasters and an ailing TV business.
Panasonic Corp. had racked up a 40.7 billion yen loss the same period the previous year.
The Osaka-based maker of Viera TVs and Lumix digital cameras reported Friday a record loss of 772.2 billion yen ($9.6 billion), a reversal from the 74 billion yen profit a year ago and among the biggest in Japan’s manufacturing history.
That comes a day after Panasonic’s archrival Sony Corp. racked up a record annual loss of 457 billion yen ($5.7 billion) in its fourth straight year of red ink.
Sony, which makes the Walkman portable audio player and PlayStation game machine, had a 255 billion yen ($3.2 billion) loss January-March - its fifth straight quarterly net loss to round out a fiscal year that was the worst in its 66-year corporate history.
Both companies’ TV operations, centering around flat-panel sets, have been battered by a powerful Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea and other Asian players.
A strong yen has also eroded the value of overseas earnings for the Japanese.
Like Sony, which is hoping for a turnaround under a new president, Kazuo Hirai, Panasonic has tapped Kazuhiro Tsuga as president. The appointments still need shareholder approval.
Panasonic is forecasting a return to profit for the fiscal year ending March 2013, at 50 billion yen ($625 million) profit on 8.1 trillion yen ($101 billion) sales, up 3 percent.