Panasonic Q1 profit jumps 66 pct in shift from consumer electronics

TOKYO, July 31:  Japan’s Panasonic Corp  said its operating profit jumped by two-thirds in the first quarter as it reaps the benefits of a shift away from consumer electronics and into products for businesses, such as automotive systems and housing fixtures.
Panasonic’s April-June operating profit of 64.2 billion  yen ($654.7 million) topped the average expectation of 49.5 billion yen from three analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
While rival Sony Corp aims to remain a major player in consumer electronics, Panasonic’s restructuring has focused on household appliances, which are selling well in emerging markets, and on products supplied to businesses like automakers, rather than to consumers.
Panasonic has also ramped up asset sales in recent  months. It is looking to raise as much as $1 billion by selling shares in its healthcare unit, financial sources have said, after a bruising 15 billion yen in net losses over the past two years.
For the full year to March, Panasonic left its operating profit forecast unchanged at 250 billion yen, up from last year’s 160.9 billion yen. That compares with the 257.1 billion yen average projection by 18 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.



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