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Panasonic To Layoff 17K; Posts Annual Profit

4/28/2011 09:42:21 AM Eastern

Osaka, Japan -
Panasonic reported it will layoff about 17,000 workers worldwide by March 2013 and
the company announced an annual profit and higher sales for fiscal year 2011
ended March 31.

Panasonic, which as of March 31 has 366,937 employees
worldwide, expects total employees to be at 350,000 by March 31, 2013 when the
next fiscal year ends. Panasonic expects the restructuring charges will be the 110 billion-yen
level in fiscal 2012 and the 50 billion yen level in fiscal 2013.

As part of the restructuring its AVC networks, the bulk of
its CE business worldwide, and its home appliances and related businesses, will
be part of a new consumer sector.

Also, as part of
the restructuring Panasonic will increase the purchase of LCD panels from
outside vendors and transfer a production line of its third domestic PDP plant
in Amagasaki City, in Japan, to China to reduce costs. The company will also focus
on panel sizes with which it can give full play to its competitiveness in flat
panels. For TV sets, it will focus on improving profitability by introducing
TVs with distinctive features, while stepping up production overseas, the
company said.

As for the 2011 fiscal year, income before income taxes was 178.8
billion yen from a loss of 29.3 billion yen.  Net income attributable to Panasonic turned to
a profit of 74 billion yen from a loss of 103.5 billion yen in fiscal 2010.

Operating profit improved by 60 percent to 305.3 billion yen
from 190.5 billion yen in fiscal 2010 due mainly to strong sales on an annual
basis, and a wide range of exhaustive cost reductions, including streamlining

of material costs and other general
expenses, Panasonic reported.

Consolidated group sales for fiscal 2011 increased by 17
percent, to 8,692.7 billion yen from 7,418 billion yen in the year ended March
31, 2010 (fiscal 2010), due mainly to the inclusion of sales of Sanyo Electric and
its subsidiaries in the company's consolidated financial results from January
2010 onwards.

By business segment, the digital AVC networks' sales amounted to 3,304 billion yen, down
3 percent from 3,409.5 billion yen a year ago. Despite favorable sales of
Blu-ray Disc recorders, this result was due mainly to sales declines in mobile
phones and digital cameras.

Operating profit increased by 32 percent, to 114.9 billion
yen from 87.3 billion yen, mainly as a result of fixed cost reduction and
streamlining efforts, offsetting the impact of a sales decline and yen appreciation,
Panasonic said.

In commenting on the effects of the Japanese earthquake and
tsunami in March Panasonic said while operations at factories in the disaster-hit region have
been recovering steadily, disruptions in its supply chain are still affecting
the group's operations.

"Towards
full recovery of the company and reconstruction of the nation, Panasonic
continues to extend a helping hand to the people in the affected region, and at
the same time, it is accelerating its efforts to restore its operations to
normal state and prepare itself for future disaster risks. While Panasonic
plans to cut cost and investment in accordance with changes in sales stemmed
from the disaster, it is determined to play a significant role in the country's
reconstruction efforts with its products and business activities," the company
said.

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