TOKYO - Japanese electronics giant Panasonic said Tuesday it was still on track to book a $1.19 billion annual profit, despite a drop in nine-month earnings due to one-time gains a year earlier.
The Osaka-based company's earnings for the April-December period came to 140.4 billion yen, down 42% from a year earlier, while revenue ticked up 1.0% to 5.7 trillion yen.
But it said it still expects to post a 140 billion yen profit in the fiscal year to March, pointing to strength in its energy and auto units, while a sharp drop in the yen also provided strong support.
"Sales of solar panels for homes continued to be stable in Japan, and demand (in the) automotive-related business steadily increased in its global market," the firm said in a statement.
"Yen depreciation also contributed to the overseas sales increase."
"All in all, Japan's major electronics companies are benefiting from the impact of a weak yen, but there has been a gradual division between the recovering firms and those that are still struggling," said Mito Securities analyst Keita Wakabayashi.
"Panasonic is now doing better due to its restructuring and growing profits from business-to-business deals. It's also concentrating on its strongest units, such as the housing and automotive-related markets."
Still, a sales tax increase in Japan last year -- the country's first in 17 years -- hurt consumer demand and damaged sales of household appliances, where Panasonic is a major player.
"Much of Panasonic’s white goods and housing-related businesses are aimed at Japan, where consumer demand has yet to recover from the tax increase," Nomura analyst Yu Okazaki told Bloomberg News.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015