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Panasonic Loss Doubles $6.4Bn, TVs Slump

Panasonic 4K OLED at CES

The company’s Q3 sales, which also tumbled to 1,801.5 billion yen to December 31, was blamed on “weak ” demand for electronics and the uncertain global economy.

Pana’s net profit in third quarter rose to 61.4 billion yen (AU$634m), a good result compared to the 197.6 bn yen loss recorded a year earlier.

However, its net loss almost doubled during the nine month period to Dec 31, to 623.8 billion yen (A$6.44bn) compared to 333.8 bn yen a year ago, and  forecast a net loss of 765 billion yen for the year – its second biggest ever.

However, Pana’s nine month operating profit enjoyed a u-turn and rose to 34.6 bn yen from a loss of 8.1 billion yen a year ago.

“The electronics industry continued to be under severe condition with weak demand in digital products and devices,” including low demand for flat panel TVs in Japan, Pana said in a statement.

During the third quarter, Panasonic’s sales in its native Japan dropped 12% to 917.2 bn yen, while international sales suffered less, falling just 3% to 884.3 bn yen.

It also blamed the global economy’s “uncertainty due to the financial issues in Europe and the U.S,” although did note signs of a recovery in Q3 including in its native Japan.

Pana’s sales for the nine months to Dec 31 also tumbled 9% to 5,439.7 billion yen.

There was a “significant” sales decline in flat-panel TVs, BD recorders and digital cameras during the nine months, however, there was a rise demand for car-related electronic products.

The giant said it also put “emphasis on profitability rather than on sales volume” and is seeking to grow its appliance and non-electronics divisions which includes energy and eco solutions.

Sales in Audio Visual division fell 23% to 1,078.9 bn yen although profitability significantly improved to 21.6 bn yen, compared to 40.5 billion yen loss a year ago, due to fixed cost reductions and restructuring benefits.

Panasonic’s Appliance division rose 1% to 1,197.1 bn yen – due mainly to the rising sales in refrigerators and washing machines, although air conditioners sales decreased. Sales of mobile phones and communication systems also fell 15%.

Its net cash position at the end of the year also rose to 82.2 billion yen.

The company’s forecast for fiscal 2013 remains unchanged from the previous forecast announced on October.

The Japanese TV maker maker did note definite signs of improvement in the Japanese economy with weakening yen foreign exchange rates against the dollar and the Euro and the recovering stock market, in its earnings statement.