Panasonic, Sony Report Q2 Losses

TOKYO—Recent financial statements issued by electronics giants Panasonic and Sony are still showing lots of red ink; however, cost-cutting measures undertaken earlier by Sony may be stanching that company’s yen/dollar hemorrhage a bit.

Second quarter statements reveal that while Panasonic suffered a $5.5 billion loss, Sony was negative by only $198 million, down from the $312 million slide reported the previous quarter, and far from the company’s $5.7 billion deficit during 2011.

Panasonic attributes some of the loss to a lessened demand for its consumer products and also corporate restructuring costs and the rising strength of the yen against other currencies. In an attempt to cut operating expenses, Panasonic has cut its work force by some 39,000 during the past year. The recent poor quarter is the second worse in the company’s history.

“The situation is worse than we had expected earlier, and we have a severe outlook for the second half [of the year],” said Hideaki Kawai, Panasonic’s chief financial officer. “Digital consumer business such as TV cameras, Blu-ray disc players and PCs worsened faster than we expected three months ago.”

While still operating on the negative side of the ledger, Sony appears to be rallying, primarily due to job cutting and other austerity measures coupled with a rise in revenue from its mobile communications segment. Sales in that division were up some 112 percent, or $3.9 billion this time round.

In its financial statement Sony said that it expected to see gains in its imaging, mobile products, devices, and motion pictures/music divisions, while revenues are expected to decline in the company’s gaming and home entertainment areas.