Panasonic to cut 5,000 workers from automotive and industrial division

TOKYO Wed May 29, 2013 10:41pm EDT

Panasonic Corp's Logo is pictured at an electronics store in Tokyo March 28, 2013. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

Panasonic Corp's Logo is pictured at an electronics store in Tokyo March 28, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Yuya Shino

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Panasonic Corp said it will cut around 5,000 workers from its automotive and industrial division in a bid to bolster its operating profit margin over the next three years to a 5 percent minimum set by the company's president, Kazuhiko Tsuga.

The division, which covers automotive components, semiconductors, production machinery and other devices, employs 110,000 people, around a third of Panasonic's workforce. The business is at the forefront of Tsuga's strategy to shift Panasonic away from consumer electronics to building gadgets and machinery it sells to other companies.

"A reduction in labor costs will be a big part of our plan to improve profitability," Yoshihiko Yamada, the head of the automotive and industrial division said during a presentation to analysts and investors in Tokyo.

($1 = 102.3500 Japanese yen)

(Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)

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