Panasonic considers headcount savings, asset sales in revival plan

LAS VEGAS Wed Jan 9, 2013 8:28am IST

Workers prepare the Panasonic booth for the International CES show at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada January 4, 2013. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

Workers prepare the Panasonic booth for the International CES show at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada January 4, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Steve Marcus

Stocks

   

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Japan's Panasonic Corp may see its headcount fall further and may sell non-core money-making business units to raise cash, president Kazuhiro Tsuga told reporters at the CES consumer electronics show in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

Hammered by competition from South Korean rivals such as Samsung Electronics, Panasonic may also squeeze wages and seek joint ventures in its semiconductors and other struggling operations in a bid to rekindle profit growth, Tsuga said.

Shares in Panasonic slipped 1.4 percent to a two-week low in Tokyo morning trade, compared to a 0.4 percent increase on the benchmark Nikkei average.

The Panasonic chief said in an earlier keynote speech he would pursue strategies to expand business-to-business sales of car batteries, in-flight entertainment systems, hydrogen cells, solar panels and LED lighting.

Japan's share of the world's flat panel TV market this year likely contracted to 31 percent compared with 41 percent in 2010, according to the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association.

Panasonic earlier unveiled a prototype of the world's largest organic light-emitting display screen in a show of technological one-upmanship with its South Korean rivals Samsung and LG Electronics Inc.

Sony Corp, which is cooperating with Panasonic in OLED technology, unwrapped on Monday its own 56-inch ultra high-definition model.

Tsuga, who heads Japan's biggest commercial employer with 300,000 staff, is also pursuing a niche strategy and bolstering the company's appliance business in a bid to capture more profitable markets while the likes of Samsung and Apple Inc (AAPL.O) slug it out in mass-market consumer electronics.

The executive has promised to deliver the details of the revival plan by the end of March, when he plans to reorganize 88 businesses into 56 units.

So far he has said that businesses that fail to achieve a 5 percent operating margin within two years will be shuttered or sold. Sales of the weakest ones may start next business year. Panasonic in the year to March 31 is forecasting a net loss of $8.9 billion.

(Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Paul Tait and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Reforms Plan

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Border Talks

Border Talks

India names Ajit Doval as special envoy for China border talks.  Full Article 

WTO Deal

WTO Deal

U.S. seeks to step up India trade talks  Full Article 

Phone Masts

Phone Masts

American Tower to buy Bharti Nigeria phone masts for $1.1 billion  Full Article 

Infrastructure Plan

Infrastructure Plan

India targets private cash to build railways to its ports.  Full Article 

Shadow Banking

Shadow Banking

Reserve Bank planning more measures for NBFCs.  Full Article 

Auto Sector

Auto Sector

Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors lift 2014 global sales target on China, emerging markets  Full Article 

Oil Prices

Oil Prices

Some fund managers see oil falling to $60 without OPEC cut.  Full Article 

Project Shelved

Project Shelved

Jindal Steel shelves $10 bln project after coal setback.  Full Article 

Market Eye

Market Eye

Sensex, Nifty rise to record after China, ECB stimulus boosts risk appetite.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage