Japanese electronics giant Panasonic has released its third quarter financials for its fiscal year 2008, and the results are not pretty: the company expects to lose $4.2 billion during the year, and now plans to cut some 15,000 jobs in an effort to reduce costs. The announcement is just the latest in a wave of dismal financial results from Japan’s leading electronics manufacturers, who are struggling against slower worldwide demand for their products and a stronger Japanese yen making their goods more expensive around the world.
Panasonic says it is planning to shut down 27 manufacturing facilities, including both full-time employees and contractors. The plant closings and job cuts are aimed to staunch losses in the company’s television business, as well as slackening sales of digital cameras, semiconductor chips, navigation systems, and other products. Panasonic is the world’s top maker of plasma TVs, and employees about 300,000 people worldwide. Ironically, the company sold more flat screen TVs than ever before during 2008, but has been forced to cut prices to compete with the likes of Samsung and LG—combined with a stronger yen, the business is earning Panasonic far less money.
Panasonic will take a whopping $3.85 billion charge through March 2009 to pay for its restructuring—it’s also writing off another $870 million in investment losses. The company expects the moves will save it up to $1 billion in its next fiscal year.
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