Friday, February 3, 2012

Panasonic headed for record $10 billion annual loss

Japan's Panasonic Corp warned of a record annual $10.2 billion net loss, joining beleaguered rivals Sony and Sharp in a sea of red ink as they struggle to fix their broken TV businesses and show they have not lost their way.

Panasonic's forecast loss of 780 billion yen ($10.24 billion) for the year to March dwarfed expectations, and is almost all due to restructuring charges and writedowns for its Sanyo Electric unit.

At a press briefing in Tokyo on Friday, Panasonic President Fumio Ohtsubo apologized for the unprecedented loss. "I feel the responsibility for the huge amount," he said.

He gave no sign, however, that he would step aside to let someone else try to revamp the sprawling consumer electronics giant, as Sony's boss Howard Stringer has done.

Sony on Thursday pressed its reset button after warning of a bigger-than-expected annual loss, announcing that Kazuo Hirai will take over from Stringer as CEO in April, triggering an 8 percent jump in its share price on Friday, its biggest one-day percentage gain in almost a year. Read More