Panasonic released its annual financial results today, and like so many of the old guard in Japan’s technology sector, things aren’t pretty. The company announced that its net loss for fiscal 2012 (the year ending March 31st) amounted to ¥812.8 billion (about $10.2 billion)— an increase of more than ¥30 billion (about $375 million) from its revised forecast in February. Like every other Japanese hardware manufacturer this year, Panasonic pointed to the effects of the 3/11 earthquake, flooding in Thailand, and the historically high yen as major factors affecting its bottom line. In the announcement, the company noted that despite streamlining and cost-cutting efforts, operating profit (profit before interest, taxes, and depreciation) decreased by 86% over the year.
Particularly hard-hit was Panasonic’s TV business. The company only made 72 percent of the LCD sales and 59 percent of the plasma sales that it did in 2011. Panasonic's leadership knows it has a lot of hurdles to overcome to get back to profitability in 2013, and it’s planning to restructure its TV business by cutting unprofitable models and focusing on panel production for non-TV products. Also, as part of the company’s "Green Transformation 2012" initiative it’s planning to move "from Japan-oriented to globally-oriented," which means we’ll probably see more devices like the company’s Eluga handset in the year to come.
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