About a fifth of Panasonic Corp’s 88 business units are losing money and only half so far meet a target for at least 5 percent operating margin, the Japanese electronics group’s finance chief said in an interview on Wednesday.
Hideaki Kawai said the country’s biggest commercial employer will axe another 10,000 jobs by end-March as it pares its costs and looks to return to profit. Panasonic shed 36,000 jobs last business year, some through the sale of businesses.
“Our new boss has said businesses must achieve at least a 5 per cent operating profit target within three years,” Kawai said, referring to Kazuhiro Tsuga, who took over as company president in June. “But we won’t wait that long to tackle units that need to be dealt with.”
Sell-offs and business closures will start as early as next year, he told Reuters at Panasonic’s headquarters in Kadoma, near Osaka in western Japan.
Kawai said Panasonic aims to earn group operating profit of at least ¥200 billion in the year to end-March 2014.
Panasonic’s ‘garage sale’ comes ahead of a turnaround plan that Tsuga has promised to unveil by end-March, which will be the start-line to offload underperforming businesses. Panasonic plans to offload assets worth 110 billion yen before the end of March, mainly land and buildings in Japan.