Panasonic to axe 8,000 more staff to cut costs

By Sooraj Shah
15 Nov 2012 View Comments
Jobs cut sign

Japanese consumer electronics firm Panasonic is to axe 8,000 jobs by the end of March 2013 as it continues its restructuring plans.

The company has already axed 38,800 staff in a bid to return to profit, and the additional cuts will mean that about 13 per cent of its workforce has been eliminated in two years.

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Last month, it warned investors that it will lose nearly $10bn (£6.3bn) for the second consecutive year, even though it had forecast that it would return to profit.

In an interview with Reuters, Panasonic chief financial officer Hideaki Kawai said that a fifth of the firm's 88 business units were losing money and that only half of the units had met a target set by company president Kazuhiro Tsuga to achieve at least a five per cent operating profit target within three years.

"We won't wait that long to tackle units that need to be dealt with," Kawai said.

Panasonic's television business has suffered from a steep decline in competitiveness. Other Japanese electronics makers, such as Sony and Sharp, have also felt the effects of a shifting market, and this has led the firms to look at different sources for revenue.

According to the head of panel displays at Panasonic, Yoshio Ito, the division should return to profit in the three months to March 31. This is because it has focused on selling LCD panels to makers of tablets and PCs.

"We are now making displays for more than 10 models of tablets and PCs," Ito told Reuters.

Ito claimed that the sales of small LCD panels would make up around 60 per cent of the division's sales between the months of October and March, compared with only 30 per cent in the preceding six months.

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