Panasonic to halt Europe smartphone sales, cut business units

TOKYO Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:50am EDT

TOKYO Oct 31 (Reuters) - Panasonic Corp said it will halt smartphone sales in Europe, freeze investment plans in a Malaysian solar plant and consolidate domestic production of small lithium batteries in a renewed round of restructuring.

The company will also reduce its number of business units to 56 from 88 as of next April, Panasonic President Kazuhiro Tsuga said in presentation slides distributed before a press briefing on Wednesday.

The announcement followed the company's forecast of a nearly $10 billion net loss for the year to March as it writes down billions of dollars of goodwill and assets in its mobile and energy units.

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