* Aims for 10 trln yen revenue by 2018/19
* Targets growth in auto, housing, B2B ops
* Sees risks in Tesla battery project
(Rewrites with details of long-term targets, restructuring
By Reiji Murai
TOKYO, March 27 Panasonic Corp laid out
plans for a rebound to record revenue within five years, while
boosting planned spending on a restructuring that is recasting
the one-time leading consumer electronics maker as a supplier to
A blueprint for the financial year to March 2019 aims for a
near doubling of sales to the auto sector, a 50 percent rise in
the housing sector and a one-third increase in a
business-to-business arm that includes aviation, energy and
As Panasonic shrinks or abandons unprofitable businesses
after $15 billion in combined net losses over the last two
business years, the company on Thursday topped up total planned
spending on restructuring this financial year and next to at
least 300 billion yen, from 250 billion.
It shut a sprawling plasma TV production complex near Osaka
in western Japan while selling off chip plants both in Japan and
overseas to foreign firms, although it retains a loss-making LCD
operation that it expects to continue losing money in the
2014/15 financial year.
The company is aiming for 10 trillion yen ($98 billion) in
revenue in 2018/19, up more than one-third from the 7.4 trillion
yen it is projecting for the current year ending on March 31.
Revenue has shrunk 20 percent in the six years since its
previous record revenue of 9.1 trillion yen in 2006/07.
"We're shifting our resources to get in step with growth
areas," Panasonic President Kazuhiro Tsuga said.
Acquisitions would be a part of the rapid growth in the auto
and housing sectors, the company said.
Panasonic also aims to bolster its business in emerging
markets and will post Senior Managing Director Yoshihiko Yamada
to India next month, the first executive from the very top
echelons of the company ever to be posted abroad.
For the financial year starting next month, Panasonic said
it will aim for an operating profit of 310 billion yen, up 15
percent from its projected profit for the current year, on
revenue of 7.75 trillion, up 4.7 percent.
Tsuga acknowledged his company faced risks in what could be
one of its biggest investment projects of the next few years: a
$4 billion to $5 billion lithium ion battery plant planned by
electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors Inc.
He offered no new information about Panasonic's plans for
the project, saying only: "There's no doubt the investment risk
is substantial, so at the moment I can't talk about our
Tesla, which uses Panasonic batteries in its vehicles, said
it would invest $2 billion in the project, which by 2020 aims to
be producing more lithium ion batteries annually than were
produced worldwide last year.
It added that partners, which it presumed would include
Panasonic and other suppliers, would cover the remaining cost.
($1 = 102.3100 Japanese Yen)
(Writing by Edmund Klamann; Editing by David Holmes)