Panasonic Firmly In The Red After Calamitous Year

Japanese electronics giant Panasonic posted a record loss in the midst of falling sales of flat panel television sets with its shares falling to a 32-year low.

Altogether, a strong yen together with a series of external factors (global recession, bad timing, the Thai flooding and the Japanese earthquake) caused the company to announced a staggering 772.2 billion yen loss (around £6 billion).

Sales of staple products like TV, cameras and recorders were down by more than a fifth but the company's president, Fumio Ohtsubo, says that heavy investments in LCD and plasma televisions six years ago are also to blame.

Other Japanese companies like Sharp and Sony have suffered in the TV market from foreign competition like Samsung or LG. This has forced Japanese manufacturers to look for strategic alliances with Chinese manufacturers to cut down on cost and boost profits.

Panasonic, which is the London 2012 Olympics sponsor for AV equipment, could be looking to cut jobs by two per cent (17,000 employees) in a bid to return to profitability.