Panasonic Corp. (PC: Quote) plans to halve the number of staff at its headquarters in Osaka, Japan as the Japanese electronics company seeks ways to cut costs to generate a profit, reports said Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter.
Panasonic reported a hefty loss for fiscal 2012 due to deteriorated business conditions hurt by Great East Japan Earthquake, flooding in Thailand, European financial crisis and the historically strong yen. However, the company expects a turnaround to profit in fiscal 2013 and sees a revenue growth of 3 percent, despite severe competition from South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. as well as Apple Inc. (AAPL).
As per the latest reports, the company plans to shrink its current 7,000-strong headquarters workforce by a range of 3,000 to 4,000 through early retirement and transfers to subsidiaries.
Panasonic may begin offering early retirement from this fall at the earliest, and the company is expected to start talks with the labor union as early as July.
Panasonic reportedly said in February that it expected to trim its global workforce below 350,000 by the end of March from 367,000 last year as it moves ahead with retrenchment faster than planned earlier.
Under its recently announced business policy for the fiscal 2013, the firm plans shifts in its business from existing to new fields and from Japan-oriented to globally-oriented business. The company added then that it has implemented restructuring of unprofitable businesses to reduce fixed costs.
On May 23, Panasonic said it plans to restructure its loss making TV business by reducing fixed costs and downsize the business structure to fair size.
In Japan, Panasonic shares are currently trading at 529 yen, up 13 yen or 2.52 percent.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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