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Panasonic back in the black

Tokyo - Panasonic said Tuesday it returned to a nine-month net profit of $2.4 billion thanks to a sharp fall in the yen and cost cutting as the Japanese electronics giant undergoes a painful restructuring.

The 243.0 billion yen net profit between April and December reverses a net loss of 623.8 billion yen over the same period a year ago, while sales came in at 5.68 trillion yen, a rise of 4.4 percent.

Panasonic's logo is seen on an electronics shop's wall in Tokyo. Credit: Reuters

“Yen depreciation contributed to the sales increase,” the company said in a statement.

A weak yen inflates profits of Japanese exporters including Panasonic and rivals Sony and Sharp.

Panasonic pointed to a boost in sales of auto-related products, such as GPS navigation systems and car batteries, while new home construction in Japan also provided a boost.

But sales in digital consumer products, including its struggling television business, remained weak as the company shifts its attention away from loss-making divisions as part of a wider restructuring.

Panasonic maintained its forecast for the fiscal year to March, expecting an annual net profit of 100 million yen on revenue of 7.4 trillion yen. - Sapa-AFP

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