Panasonic first-quarter profits up 17.6 percent

Panasonic is reporting a rise in first-quarter profits
Panasonic is reporting a rise in first-quarter profits

Japanese electronics giant Panasonic said Tuesday its first-quarter net profit jumped more than 17 percent thanks to growth in its automotive-related business.

The Osaka-based company said net profit for the April-June period rose 17.6 percent to 57.4 billion yen ($515 million), from 48.8 billion yen the previous year.

"In Japan, the US and Europe, the business grew... sales grew for the energy business such as automotive and storage batteries and for industrial-related business," Panasonic said in a statement.

The company has been enjoying a solid recovery, particularly with healthy sales of electronics products for automobiles such as navigation units.

The automotive sales increased thanks to "market growth for eco-cars and expanded demand in advanced driver-assistance systems", Panasonic said.

Panasonic has partnered with local automotive titan Toyota and has provided batteries for US electric vehicle innovator Tesla, as it explores ways to expand beyond its mainstay electronics operations.

Jointly with Tesla, Panasonic produces lithium-ion battery cells at a "gigafactory" but Tesla's new mass-market model has been hit by a production delay.

Operating profit jumped 19.1 percent to 100 billion yen while sales were up 7.7 percent to two trillion yen, the company said.

The company left unchanged its full-year forecast, which sees climbing 5.9 percent to 250 billion yen with sales rising 4.0 percent to 8.3 trillion yen.

© 2018 AFP

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