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Panasonic lands battery order from Indian group

Kyodo

Panasonic Corp. has received an order for lithium-ion batteries from Indian conglomerate Reliance Group to run mobile communications base stations, industry sources said.

Panasonic has already began shipping the batteries to Reliance, which is active in the telecommunications, financing, energy, infrastructure and health sectors, the sources said Saturday.

The company did not disclose the value of the order, they said.

The order is a boost for Panasonic’s strategy of increasing sales to emerging markets, where the electricity supply is unstable and demand for batteries to backup base stations is growing.

The struggling electronics giant, which is trying to acquire more business from corporate customers as it makes a costly exit from the plasma TV business, is aiming to increase sales of lithium batteries in emerging markets to the tens of billions of yen as early as fiscal 2015.

The firm, based in Osaka Prefecture, is negotiating similar deals with Indian and Indonesian firms, the sources added.

Despite frequent power outages, emerging countries are rapidly building small base stations as the use of mobile data communications spreads amid the smartphone boom, which is boosting demand for batteries in case of blackouts.

Panasonic aims to expand sales in India to about ¥355 billion in fiscal 2015, about three times more than fiscal 2012.