* 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 figures)
By Reiji Murai
TOKYO, March 27 (Reuters) - 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 other businesses.
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 logistics.
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 investment stance.”
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)