Panasonic reported 2014 profits of ¥120.4 billion ($1.2 billion) for the year to March 2014, its first full-year profit since 2010. The Japanese consumer economics multinational said a weaker yen helped boost sales abroad.
Total cash dividends for the fiscal 2014 (ended March 31st, 2014) are projected to be ¥13 per share, including an interim ¥5 per share paid on December 5th, 2013.
In the previous year the company had posted a ¥754 billion ($7.36 billion) loss.
The company said that housing-related business grew because of a surge in demand ahead of Japan’s April sales tax (consumption tax, VAT) hike, while automotive-related sales rose because of the global economic rebound.
Digital consumer-related sales fell as the company focused on profitability instead of sales volume.
Panasonic concludes its restructuring campaign
Panasonic is wrapping up its restructuring campaign, which cost ¥207.4 billion in 2013/14, to shift its focus to more reliably profitable products such as car batteries from volatile consumer markets.
Panasonic’s CEO Kazuhiro Tsuga said “We have made a big shift away from focusing on the top line.” He made the bold decision in 2013 to shut down a plasma TV plant complex and divested several domestic chip plants. The company also ditched consumer smartphones.
In an interview with CNET, industry expert Dr Sotirios Paroutis, associate professor of strategic management at the Warwick Business School in England, said:
“Pulling out of non-profitable consumer electronics businesses – some of them synonymous with the Panasonic brand name – has helped the firm readjust its portfolio towards automotive and housing products with stronger demand.”
Panasonic forecast for Fiscal 2015
- Sales: ¥7,750 billion (no change vs. 2014).
- Operating profit: ¥310 billion (2% higher than 2014).
- Pre-tax income: ¥120 billion (42% less than in 2014).
- Net profit: ¥140 billion (16% higher than in 2014).
The net profit increase for FY2015 is based on the US and European economic recoveries, the company added.
Panasonic Corporation, founded in 1918 and based in Osaka, Japan, was formerly called Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
It is one of the leading producers of electronics in Japan, and the fourth largest TV manufacturer globally (2012).
The company, which is comprised of more than 634 firms, employs 293,742 workers worldwide.