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Panasonic plans layoffs in Asia

Posted: 30 Jan 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:televisions  layoffs  Panasonic 

Panasonic Corp. of Japan may close three plants in Asia and lay off hundreds as it braces to slip into the red for the first time in six years, according to a report.

According to the Nikkei economic daily, Panasonic is expected to report a net loss of around Rs.4,991.80 crore (100 billion yen) in the business year to March, due to falling electronics prices and the yen's rise. Mounting restructuring costs will also push losses higher, the daily said, without citing its sources.

Japan's electronics giants are facing tougher times after enjoying several years of strong profits, as consumers tighten their purse strings amid recessions in major economies from the United States to Japan and Europe. The rising yen has also eroded their export earnings.

Canon expects a 60 per cent drop in its operating profit in 2009 following an estimated 30 per cent fall last year, the Nikkei reported. Canon was due to release its 2008 results later Wednesday.

The Nikkei said Panasonic, which has enjoyed brisk sales of plasma televisions, mobile telephones and digital cameras in recent years, will close two of its three electronics parts facilities in Malaysia. The two are the Malacca factory, which churns out film capacitors used in mobile phones, and a factory in the state of Selangor, which makes switches for audiovisual equipment. Panasonic will close the Malacca plant in March with the loss of 500 jobs, it said. The Selangor plant would shut in September, it added, without saying what would happen to the employees there. A Philippine facility that produces batteries will also be shut in March, with its 60 employees losing their jobs, it said.

Panasonic did not confirm the Nikkei report. It said it would announce whether it was revising its full-year forecasts on February 4 when it releases October-December results.

In November, the company slashed its net profit forecast for the current financial year by nearly 90 per cent, to Rs.1,497.54 crore (30 billion yen). Panasonic said earlier this month that it would slash investment in flat televisions and exit unprofitable businesses to streamline its operations.


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