Panasonic Corp. reported that its Appliances business segment saw a 10% sales increase in its just-ended fiscal year. Appliances business sales ended fiscal 2014 with sales of 1,196.6 billion yen (approx. USD $11.7 billion), up from 1,089.4 billion yen in the previous fiscal year.
Sales increases were driven by a surge in consumer spending in Japan in advance of a Japanese consumption tax hike. This increase more than offset a drop in household air-conditioner sales in China.
Appliances segment profit in fiscal year 2014 was 28.5 billion yen, down 22% from 36.4 billion yen in FY 2013. The company said streamlining and cost reductions were unable to offset negative impact of yen depreciation on products manufactured overseas and imported to Japan.
Panasonic as a whole reported that consolidated group sales for fiscal year 2014 (ending March 31, 2014) were 7,736.5 billion yen, up 6% from 7,303.0 billion yen in FY 2013.
Yen depreciation contributed to the sales increase. Domestic (Japanese) sales were 3,897.9 billion yen, up 3% from 3,790.4 billion yen in FY 2013. Overseas sales were 3,838.6 billion yen, up from 3,512.6 billion yen.
Operating profit was 305.1 billion yen, up 90% from 160.9 billion yen a year ago, which Panasonic said was a result of improvements made to unprofitable businesses, as well as implementing corporate-wide fixed cost reduction and streamlining of material cost.
Panasonic is forecasting fiscal year 2015 sales to be flat at 7,750.0 billion yen, and expects an operating profit of 310.0 billion yen, up 2% from FY 2014.
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