• Kyodo


Panasonic Corp. said Monday its group net profit jumped 67.1 percent in the April-June quarter to ¥48.76 billion ($440 million), thanks to brisk sales of electronic parts for automobiles.

The electronics giant said group operating profit rose 16.9 percent to ¥83.93 billion in the three-month period ended June 30 on sales of ¥1.87 trillion, up 5.1 percent from a year earlier.

“We were able to make a good start,” Panasonic’s Chief Financial Officer Hirokazu Umeda said at a news conference in Tokyo.

For the fiscal year ending next March, Panasonic maintained its earnings forecast and continues to expect group net profit to rise 7.1 percent to ¥160 billion.

The company projects group operating profit will rise 21 percent to ¥335 billion on sales of ¥7.80 trillion, up 6.2 percent.

The company said the automotive and industrial systems businesses were supported by strong demand for batteries, cameras and sonar systems for automobiles.

Umeda said he expects its supply of batteries to U.S. electric-car maker and energy company Tesla Inc. to begin boosting its profits from the July-September quarter.

“We started supplying batteries for the (Tesla) Model 3 in June and I expect output to gear up from here on,” he said.

Panasonic supplies lithium-ion batteries to Tesla, as the two companies jointly run and mass produce batteries at Gigafactory in Nevada.

Solid demand for air conditioners, refrigerators and televisions in Japan and other Asian countries also boosted sales in its home appliance business.

Panasonic has been aggressively expanding into fields other than consumer electronics, including home renovation and care services for the elderly amid intense competition with Asian rivals such as Samsung Electronics Co.

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