The death of plasma? Panasonic sales drop by 41 per cent
Panasonic has posted its annual financial results and, like many other Japanese consumer electronics brands, the last fiscal year has not been kind. The firm has posted a loss of 812.8 billion Yen (£6.3 billion).
In addition, the results show an alarming drop in sales of plasma televisions, with Panasonic selling 41 per cent fewer sets from April 2011 to the end of March 2012 than it did the previous financial year. Its smaller screen LCD TVs have fared slightly better, but also saw a dip in sales of 28 per cent.
The posted losses are 30 billion Yen (£233 million) more than the company predicted in February this year, and the report states that the overall sum is partly attributable to several key factors, including the Japanese earthquake and resulting tsunami, and the flooding in Thailand. The appreciation of the Yen has also been a major factor.
However, it is those TV sales, or lack of, that are of utmost importance to the company. It has stuck by plasma TV technologies for its large-screen flatpanel displays through thick and thin, but it now seems that consumer trend is heavily swaying towards LED back-lit televisions. It's going to be a struggle for Panasonic to win them back, so the question is, will it bother?
Pic: (cc) popculturegeek.com - taken by Doug Kline