Panasonic April-December operating profit hit by China sales

TOKYO (AFP) – Panasonic said yesterday its operating profit for the April-December period dropped 18 per cent on lower sales in China but it left its full-year forecast intact despite the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

The Japanese consumer electronics giant said its nine-month sales fell 5.4 per cent to JPY5.76 trillion as the weakness of the Chinese market also pressured the performance of the firm’s sales in Japan.

“Domestic sales decreased due mainly to sluggish sales in electromechanical control equipment resulting from the deteriorating market conditions in China,” Panasonic said.

Sluggish sales of televisions and automotive-related products also dented overall sales. Slower sales saw the firm’s operating profit fall to JPY240.67 billion, while net profit came to JPY178.15 billion, which marked an increase of 2.6 per cent, thanks largely to reduced income taxes.

The company left unchanged its full-year forecast, which sees net profit falling 29.6 per cent to JPY200 billion, and operating profit sagging 27.1 per cent to JPY300 billion on sales at JPY7.7 trillion, down 3.8 per cent.

The unchanged forecast comes despite the impact of the new coronavirus, which has sent markets plunging and forced manufacturers to keep plants closed.

Panasonic did not reference the outbreak in its earnings.

Panasonic’s operating profit for the April-December period dropped 18 per cent on lower sales in China. PHOTO: AFP