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Panasonic posts loss, to cut 5% of workforce

updated 11:25 am EST, Wed February 4, 2009

Panasonic posts loss

Panasonic is the latest in a string of large electronics companies based in Japan to predict a loss for the 2008 current fiscal year due to the slow economy and the unfavorable exchange rates offered by a strong yen. As a result, the company plans to cut nearly 5 percent of its workforce, amounting to some 15,000 workers. At the same time, 12 percent or 27 manufacturing sites will be closed down. The company now expects to post a $4.26 billion net loss in the fiscal year that ends March 31st.

Back in November, Panasonic said it expected to post a profit of about $337 million.

Panasonic's news comes on the heels of similar recent losses from competitors Sony and Toshiba. Adding to the woes of all the Japanese electronics makers is competition from South Korean electronics makers, who are enjoying a weak domestic currency that makes it more profitable to sell overseas and less costly to make parts within the country. While the yen has risen 15 percent compared to the US dollar, the won has fallen 50 percent in the same timeframe.

Panasonic believes it will take two years to bounce back from the current operating losses. [via WSJ]

by MacNN Staff



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