Japanese electronics giant Panasonic has revised its annual net loss forecast to a record ¥780 billion ($10.2 billion) in response to a year that has seen the firm battle two massive natural disasters, as well as a slower economy and the strong yen eroding foreign earned revenue when repatriated to Japan.
The company was forced to halt operations in October at its three Thailand factories making home appliances and other products following the nation’s worst floods in 70 years. The magnitude 9.1 earthquake in Japan last March also disrupted the supply chain and impacted heavily on the firm.
In October, the world largest maker of plasma TV’s, had predicted loses of around ¥420 billion ($5.5 billion), almost half of the now revised figures by the troubled electronics firm. It is also the biggest loss the firm will have made since it was founded in 1918, and massively surpasses the previous record loss of ¥427.7 billion in 2002.
Panasonic President Fumio Ohtsubo said that jobs need to be eliminated and manufacturing output will shift overseas as they move into the solar panel and rechargeable batteries market, amid mounting competition in the TV market.
"At the core of our latest restructuring was to make our TV unit profitable," Ohtsubo told reporters. "Panasonic's TVs may one day be a case study of a recovery," he added, in reference to 50 years Japanese materials companies took to develop successful carbon composites, according to Reuters.
Part of this record prediction also includes a ¥290 billion ($3.8 billion) charge for the goodwill write-down of Sanyo Electric Company, and Panasonic Electric Works Company.
The company predicts its operating profit to be around 30 billion Yen, in the year ending in March, a landslide reduction in their previous prediction of ¥130 billion. The annual revenue forecast has also been revised to ¥8 trillion, down from ¥8.3 trillion in October.
Panasonic joins Sony and Sharp in announcing substantial loses for the fiscal year ending in March.
Sony forecasted a ¥220 billion ($2.9 billion) loss yesterday, as the ailing company struggles against more innovative rivals, the flooding in Thailand that massively disrupted supply chains, and a weak economy. The purchase of the joint phone venture with Ericsson and the backing out of a joint flatpanel venture with Samsung also hurt turnover. Eroding public confidence in the Japanese company as a result of the attacks on its server infrastructure last year hasn’t helped matters either.