TOKYO: Japan's Panasonic Corp reported a 19 per cent drop in third-quarter operating profit and cut its full-year earnings outlook, citing slower demand for home appliances and factory automation equipment in China amid an escalating Sino-US trade war.
The electronics company posted on Monday an operating profit of ¥97.6 billion (US$889.05 million) for the October-December quarter, down from ¥120.1 billion a year ago. That was far below the average ¥122.35 billion estimate of eight analysts, according to Refinitiv data, report agencies.Panasonic cut its operating profit forecast for the year ending March to ¥385 billion from ¥425 billion. The outlook compared with the ¥420.25 billion average of 18 analyst estimates, according to Refinitiv data.
A bright spot in the otherwise bleak earnings is that Panasonic's energy division, which includes the battery business with US electric car maker Tesla Inc, posted an operating profit of ¥16.5 billion, its first profit in three quarters.
Panasonic, the exclusive battery cell supplier for Tesla's current production models, saw its profits squeezed early last year by the US EV maker's initial production delays for the mass-market Model 3 sedan.