Business / Corporate

Panasonic net profit down 21% amid coronavirus pandemic

Kyodo

Panasonic Corp. on Monday reported a 20.6 percent fall in group net profit from a year earlier to ¥225.71 billion for the year that ended in March due to weak sales of home appliances and auto electronic parts, as well as the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on a range of its operations.

Panasonic expects demand to pick up in the latter half of the current business year after consumption was dented amid the virus spread, but it did not release an earnings projection.

For the 2019 business year, Panasonic's group operating profit sagged 28.6 percent to ¥293.75 billion on group sales of ¥7.49 trillion, down 6.4 percent.

Chief Financial Officer Hirokazu Umeda said in a telephone conference that he expects sales to get fully back on track in the second half of this fiscal year, as many countries have started reopening their economies.

In April, its sales declined about 20 percent from a year earlier, with the largest drop of 50 percent in North America. But sales in China, a country that resumed economic activity ahead of others, was nearly flat for the month, he said.

The television division remained unprofitable in 2019, with a loss of more than ¥10 billion. Umeda said the company aims to turn the business into the black in the 2021 business year through a range of measures, including a possible business tie-up.

For 2019, the company attributed the poor results to falling demand for home appliances, particularly in Europe. It also acknowledged weak sales of automotive equipment in China.

The company suspended production lines at domestic and overseas factories, including in China, Malaysia and India, as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted supply chains and prompted authorities in many countries to issue stay-at-home requests.

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