Panasonic to cut over 30,000 workers

 

Cost-cutting drive.

Japanese consumer electronics maker Panasonic said on Thursday it would cut its workforce by around 34,000 by the end of fiscal year 2012.

The company had 384,586 employees as of March 31, 2010, according to its website, but has confirmed it will cut these numbers back to 350,000.

The company will incur more than 100 billion yen (US$1.22 billion) in expenses this year related to the job cuts and a reorganisation of production facilities, according to a report in the Nikkei newspaper.

Panasonic said it would maintain its target of a 5 percent operating profit margin for fiscal year 2012/13, aiming to post sales of 9.4 trillion yen (US$114 billion), below its previous target of 10 trillion yen.

Once unrivalled, Japan's consumer electronic firms are facing increasing competition from Korean and Chinese producers in particular.

Panasonic is seeking to shift its focus to environmental and energy-related businesses such as rechargeable batteries in order to duck competition from Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and others in consumer technology.

As part of that strategy, the company announced last year it would make Panasonic Electric Works and Sanyo Electric Co wholly-owned units last year, absorbing a combined 160,000 workers, the Nikkei reported.

Panasonic is now seeking to shed staff in overlapping businesses, particularly abroad, it added.

The units make a wide range of products including rechargeable batteries, factory robots, electronic components, lighting and solar panels.

"The figure is huge, but so is the company, and for an old-fashioned one like Panasonic, this is a big move," said Toru Hashizume, chief investment officer at Stats Investment Management in Tokyo.

(Additional reporting by Arpita Mukherjee in Bangalore and Isabel Reynolds, Nathan Layne, James Topham and Tim Kelly in Tokyo; Editing by Joseph Radford and Lincoln Feast).


Panasonic to cut over 30,000 workers
 
 
 
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