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Japanese giants Panasonic, Sharp post $11 billion losses

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A Japanese electronics manufacturer Panasonic showroom in Tokyo.

Embattled Japanese consumer electronics giants Panasonic and Sharp have posted more than USD11 billion in combined losses over the nine-month period ending in December.

On Friday, Sharp announced its losses had doubled in the nine months leading to December to USD4.6 billion. Panasonic, meanwhile, said it had lost about USD6.77 billion over the same period, anticipating another USD8.3 billion in losses in the fiscal year to March.

A high yen, shrinking demand in key export markets, fierce competition with Chinese and Taiwanese rivals, and strategic mistakes have been named as the reason behind the fall.

Panasonic and Sony have been afflicted by credit downgrades and record losses. Century-old rival Sharp also warned last year that its survival was at stake, putting up its Osaka headquarters as collateral for urgent bank loans.

In November 2012, the ratings agency Fitch downgraded Panasonic and Sony to junk status for the first time.

Fitch also lowered Sharp to junk in the same month, which followed a similar move by Standard & Poor’s earlier in the year.

Meanwhile, Sharp has embarked on a massive corporate overhaul, including thousands of layoffs, which the company hopes will help it “continue as a going concern” for its rivals.


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