Panasonic €7bn war chest

Panasonic has said it is ready to spend 1 trillion yen (€7.6 billion) on acquisitions over the next four years, bolstered by a stronger profit outlook for its automotive and housing technology businesses.

Chief Executive Kazuhiro Tsuga told analysts Panasonic doesn’t have specific acquisition targets in mind for now. But he said the firm will spend around 200 billion yen on M&A in the coming fiscal year and pledged to improve on Panasonic’s track record on big deals.

“With strategic investments, if there’s an opportunity to accelerate growth, you need funds. That’s the idea behind the 1 trillion yen figure,” he said. Tsuga has spearheaded a radical restructuring at the company that has made it one of the strongest turnaround stories in Japan’s embattled technology sector.

The firm said it’s targeting operating profit of 430 billion yen in the next fiscal year, up nearly 25 per cent from the 350 billion yen it expects for the year ending March 31st.

Panasonic’s earnings have been bolstered by moving faster than peers like Sony and Sharp to overhaul business models squeezed by competition from cheaper Asian rivals and caught flat-footed in a smartphone race led by Apple and Samsung. Out has gone reliance on mass consumer goods like TVs and smartphones, and in has come a focus on areas like automotive technology and energy-efficient home appliances.

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