Panasonic to book $9.6 billion loss

Panasonic today said it would book a mammoth $9.6-billion net loss in the fiscal year to March as the Japanese consumer electronics giant goes ahead with the overhaul of its troubled business.

Though the firm said it would achieve an operating profit, restructuring costs and writedowns would see its shortfall at a whopping 765 billion yen according to analysts.

This would be around the record 772.2 billion yen net loss last fiscal year, one of the worst-ever losses for a non-financial Japanese firm.

Earlier, the company which had expected to post a net profit of 50 billion yen in the fiscal year to March 2013, also reduced its annual sales forecast to 7.3 trillion yen from 8.1 trillion yen.

According to Panasonic, its sales in the first half of the fiscal year fell amid slumping demand for its flat-panel TVs, digital cameras and mobile phones, as it booked a 685 billion yen loss for the six months to September.

The current fiscal year would see restructuring expenses alone at about 440 billion yen, over 10 times the original forecast of the firm.