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Panasonic posts hefty loss amid TV sales decline

The losses were narrower than a year ago, but the company has shown little progress from its restructuring efforts.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Panasonic has posted another hefty annual loss as the consumer electronics giant continues to struggle.

The Japanese company on Friday reported a loss of 754.3 billion yen ($7.42 billion) for fiscal 2013, which ended in March. In fiscal 2012, it posted a loss of 772.2 billion yen. Sales for fiscal 2013 declined 7 percent from the previous year to 7.3 trillion yen ($71.9 billion).

Panasonic had put into place a vast restructuring plan meant to pull the company out of its tailspin, but it conceded today that the results were far below what it was expecting. The company partly blamed the severe conditions of the consumer electronics industry, particularly sluggish demand for flat-panel TVs in Japan.

Poor sales of TVs and display panels led to a 20 percent decline in revenue in that unit, one of the biggest within Panasonic's stable of businesses.

Panasonic President Kazuhiro Tsuga, who took over a year ago, has promised to cut unprofitable business in an effort to get the company back in black. That could potentially mean the end of consumer products such as televisions, which continue to bleed money. Panasonic has already hinted that may shut down its plasma TV unit.

On an operating profit basis, which excludes items such as restructuring costs, the company eked out a gain of 160.9 billion yen ($1.6 billion), up 268 percent from a year ago.

Corrections at 7:05 a.m. PT: The fiscal years have been fixed, and the headline has been rewritten to reflect that change. The sales figure for fiscal 2013 also has been fixed.