updated 08:00 am EST, Fri February 3, 2012
Panasonic takes big setback from Sanyo costs
Panasonic compounded the troubles at Japanese electronics firms on Friday after it anticipated a steep $10.2 billion yearly loss for its fiscal 2011, which ends in March. The record drop was blamed near exclusively on the costs of buying Sanyo and its Electric division, including reorganization and write-offs. President Fumio Ohtsubo apologized, but promised corporate reform that could produce a "V-shaped" turnaround in performance.
The company was already cutting 17,000 positions before the end of the fiscal year. TV was considered a sore point, but Ohtsubo suggested Panasonic might cater to the needs for TVs in the corporate and institutional worlds, where needs are usually more stable if less frequent. Much of the Japanese electronics industry, including Sony, has been affected by tough TV sales to home users, where the market has been saturated and is more sensitive to the economy.
Panasonic, Sharp, and Sony together will have lost a combined $17 billion. Some of this has come from factors outside of their direct control, such as the aftermath of the northern Japan earthquake and a high value for the yen. Poor anticipation of demand and swifter moves by companies like Apple and Samsung, however, has put some of the blame at executives' feet. [via Reuters]