Panasonic expects annual profit to halve on coronavirus hit

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Panasonic Corp is pictured at the CEATEC JAPAN 2017 (Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies) at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan, October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Panasonic Corp 6752.T said on Thursday it expects operating profit to drop 48.9% this financial year, as the pandemic hits its wide-ranging businesses from home appliances to automotive batteries.

A leading supplier of battery cells to Tesla Inc TSLA.O, Panasonic forecast operating profit of 150 billion yen (1.10 billion pounds) for the year through March 2021, down from 293.75 billion yen last year.

The forecast is lower than the 196.04 billion yen average of 18 analyst estimates compiled by Refinitiv Eikon.

Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; editing by Jason Neely