Panasonic to lose another $10bn

Panasonic has warned it will lose nearly $10 billion for the second consecutive year, against an earlier prediction that it would return to profit.

The company said it expected to end the financial year to next March with a net loss of Y765 billion ($9.6bn), a dramatic reversal of its previous forecast for a Y50 billion profit. It said it would not pay a dividend this year for the first time since 1950.

This loss is only slightly smaller than Panasonic’s record Y772 billion deficit last year, and would bring its cumulative losses for the past five years to nearly Y2 trillion.

The company said it was writing down the value of past investments in solar panels, lithium-ion batteries and mobile phones, areas on which it had bet heavily only to be undone by cheaper or more innovative foreign competitors.

The decision broadens a restructuring that began with the company’s unprofitable television division last year.

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