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Panasonic books Q3 profit on better overseas sales

Fri, 02/05/2010 - 7:20am
Mari Yamaguchi, The Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) – Panasonic, the world's biggest maker of plasma TVs, reported a second-straight quarterly profit in October-December, buoyed by restructuring and a slight improvement in sales overseas.

Osaka-based Panasonic Corp. said Friday it booked a 32.3 billion yen ($360 million) profit for the fiscal third quarter, bouncing back from a net loss of 63.1 billion yen ($706.5 million) a year earlier.

Panasonic, which bought smaller rival Sanyo for $4.6 billion last year, returned to profit in the July-September quarter for the first time in a year.

Sales for the third quarter came to 1.89 trillion yen ($21.2 billion), almost unchanged from a year earlier. Overseas sales increased 3 percent, while domestic sales fell 2 percent.

"In the electronics industry ... despite visible signs of market recovery in some regions such as China and Asia, severe business conditions continued," Panasonic said, citing a stronger yen and shift in demand to emerging markets and cheaper products.

Panasonic raised its sales forecast for the full fiscal year through March to 7.35 trillion yen from 7 trillion yen, but kept unchanged its forecast of a net loss of 140 billion yen.

The company raised its operating profit forecast to 150 billion yen from 120 billion yen.

The Japanese electronics giant said the revision takes into consideration benefits resulting from its takeover of smaller rival Sanyo Electric Co.

Panasonic said it needs to cut more costs and is aiming to achieve growth in overseas sales and focus on green technology.

For the April-December period, Panasonic reported a loss of 14.6 billion yen, down from a profit of 65.4 billion yen the year before. Sales for the nine months fell to 5.2 trillion yen, down 16 percent in the same period a year ago.

Panasonic shares fell 3.1 percent to 1,392 yen Friday in Tokyo.

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