* May sell non-core, money-making units to raise cash
* Wage squeeze, JVs in semiconductors also under
* Shares off 1.4 pct, lag broad market
LAS VEGAS, Jan 8 Japan's Panasonic Corp
may see its headcount fall further and may sell non-core
money-making business units to raise cash, president Kazuhiro
Tsuga told reporters at the CES consumer electronics show in Las
Vegas on Tuesday.
Hammered by competition from South Korean rivals such as
Samsung Electronics, Panasonic may also squeeze
wages and seek joint ventures in its semiconductors and other
struggling operations in a bid to rekindle profit growth, Tsuga
Shares in Panasonic slipped 1.4 percent to a two-week low in
Tokyo morning trade, compared to a 0.4 percent increase on the
benchmark Nikkei average.
The Panasonic chief said in an earlier keynote speech he
would pursue strategies to expand business-to-business sales of
car batteries, in-flight entertainment systems, hydrogen cells,
solar panels and LED lighting.
Japan's share of the world's flat panel TV market this year
likely contracted to 31 percent compared with 41 percent in
2010, according to the Japan Electronics and Information
Technology Industries Association.
Panasonic earlier unveiled a prototype of the world's
largest organic light-emitting display screen in a show of
technological one-upmanship with its South Korean rivals Samsung
and LG Electronics Inc.
Sony Corp, which is cooperating with Panasonic in
OLED technology, unwrapped on Monday its own 56-inch ultra
Tsuga, who heads Japan's biggest commercial employer with
300,000 staff, is also pursuing a niche strategy and bolstering
the company's appliance business in a bid to capture more
profitable markets while the likes of Samsung and Apple Inc
slug it out in mass-market consumer electronics.
The executive has promised to deliver the details of the
revival plan by the end of March, when he plans to reorganize 88
businesses into 56 units.
So far he has said that businesses that fail to achieve a 5
percent operating margin within two years will be shuttered or
sold. Sales of the weakest ones may start next business year.
Panasonic in the year to March 31 is forecasting a net loss of