by Tim Kelly
TOKYO, May 11 (Reuters) – Panasonic Corp said on Wednesday it expects full-year operating profit to stagnate due to component shortages and rising material costs.
The Japanese group now expects an operating profit of 360 billion yen for the financial year ending March 31, 2023, which represents only a very small increase compared to the 357 billion yen recorded the previous year.
This forecast is lower than the estimate of 20 analysts, who expect an average of 382.7 billion yen according to Refinitiv data.
The company is facing component shortages linked to the coronavirus pandemic, as lockdowns in China raise fears of further supply chain disruptions.
Panasonic also mentioned the risks of its suppliers’ factories being blocked due to COVID-19 and the “international situation”.
“The impact of the lockdowns in Shanghai will likely be felt from June,” said Hirokazu Umeda, the company’s chief financial officer.
For its energy business, which notably manufactures automotive batteries for Tesla Inc, Panasonic anticipates an increase in demand for electric vehicles and will try to offset rising metal prices with the help of “price revisions” and “rationalization”. . She did not give any further information on this subject.
Panasonic has also said it plans to list its supply chain management business separately on the stock exchange in order to raise funds to invest in this branch.
The company did not say when this listing would take place or how much it planned to raise.
In the January-March period, Panasonic posted an operating profit of 83.3 billion yen against 31.8 billion yen a year earlier. The nine analysts polled by Refinitiv on average expected a profit of 85.5 billion yen. (French version Valentine Baldassari, edited by Jean-Michel Bélot)