Panasonic to cut 10,000 more workers in new chief's revamp


Panasonic Corp <6758.T>, Japan's biggest commercial employer, will lay off 10,000 more workers in the year ending next March in a bid to trim costs and boost profitability at close to 100 business units, a fifth of which are losing money, its chief financial officer told Reuters.

Panasonic is aiming to bolster group operating profit to at least 200 billion yen ($2.52 billion)in the year starting next April, Hideaki Kawai said at Panasonic's headquarters in Kadoma, near Osaka in western Japan, on Wednesday.

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The latest job cuts follow a 36,000 cut in its work force last business year, some of which was through the sale of businesses.

Panasonic warned last month it will lose close to $10 billion in the year ending next March 31 as writes off billions of yen in tax-deferred assets and goodwill related to its mobile phone, solar panel and small lithium battery businesses. It also put aside money to pay for layoffs and other restructuring.

Kawai said Panasonic, which will begin selling units as early as next business year, is unlikely to achieve its target for an operating profit margin of 5 percent within three years, set by the company's new chief, Kazuhiro Tsuga.

(Reporting by Tim Kelly and Reiji Murai; Editing by Michael Watson)