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Panasonic cuts full-year earnings outlook amid China slowdown

Kyodo

Panasonic Corp. cut on Wednesday its full-year earnings forecasts, hit by the slowing of the Chinese economy and other emerging markets.

For the year through March 31, Panasonic now expects an operating profit of ¥410 billion ($3.4 billion), compared with ¥430 billion projected earlier, on sales of ¥7.55 trillion, down from its earlier estimate of ¥8 trillion.

Group net profit is estimated to reach ¥180 billion, unchanged from the previous projection.

“The business environment has worsened a great deal and we expect that to continue for the time being,” Panasonic Senior Managing Director Hideaki Kawai said at a news briefing.

Panasonic said sales of air conditioners and devices in China, information and communications technology-related rechargeable batteries and solar photovoltaic systems in Japan have been sluggish.

For the nine-month period through Dec. 31, Panasonic reported a 14.1 percent year-on-year increase in group net profit to ¥160.22 billion, as stable demand for home appliances in Japan and Asia helped the bottom line.

Consolidated operating profit gained 10.3 percent to ¥320.25 billion, on sales of ¥5.67 trillion, down 0.8 percent.

Despite strong sales of white goods, including refrigerators, the appliance unit saw a 3 percent drop in sales to ¥1.78 trillion as Panasonic’s television business struggled.

The eco solutions unit that includes housing-related products and solar photovoltaic systems also marked a 3 percent fall to ¥1.18 trillion.

The Osaka-based company reported strong performance in security systems, with its audio, video and communications networks unit reporting a 3 percent increase in sales to ¥854.1 billion.