Thursday, March 18, 2010

Panasonic Profit May Be Boosted More Than $885 Million by Sanyo Purchase‏

Bloomberg News

Panasonic Corp., which acquired a controlling stake in battery maker Sanyo Electric Co. in December, may boost annual profit by more than 80 billion yen ($885 million) in three years by merging operations.

“Toward the end of this month, we’ll gather the sort of benefits we’ll generate by the merger,” Hitoshi Otsuki, a senior managing director in charge of Panasonic’s overseas operations, said in an interview in Tokyo yesterday. For the year ending March 2013 “80 billion yen is our target officially and we will definitely achieve it,” he said, adding it’s “definitely possible” to aim for a higher amount.

Sanyo’s solar power batteries, strong presence in Vietnam and close relationship with Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, will likely help Panasonic beat its original target, Otsuki said. The world’s largest maker of plasma televisions made its biggest acquisition last December, paying 403.8 billion yen for 50.2 percent of Sanyo, the No. 1 manufacturer of lithium-ion rechargeable batteries.

“Panasonic hasn’t disclosed details of the synergy plan,” Kazuharu Miura, an analyst at Daiwa Securities Capital Markets Co. in Tokyo, said by phone today. “I’m waiting to see how each of the company’s businesses will benefit from the acquisition of the battery maker and how much the overall profit will expand.”

The purchase will likely boost Panasonic’s operating profit, or sales minus the cost of goods sold and administrative expenses, by 80 billion yen in the 12 months ending March 2013, the company said December 2008 when it first disclosed the purchase plan.

May Sell Assets

The two companies aren’t discussing additional job cuts and may sell some of their assets as they consolidate operations, Otsuki said. Panasonic has no plan to make Sanyo a wholly owned unit, he said.

Panasonic rose 1.7 percent to close at 1,343 yen in Tokyo trading. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 1.2 percent.

Last month, Osaka-based Panasonic raised its operating profit forecast by 25 percent, as cuts in fixed and material costs lead to a recovery in earnings from consumer electronics and appliances.

Operating profit will probably reach 150 billion yen in the year ending March 31, compared with an earlier forecast of 120 billion yen, Panasonic said Feb. 5. Sales may total 7.35 trillion yen, 5 percent more than previously projected.

Analysts expect the company to post a net income of 115 billion yen in the year starting April 1, from a loss of 130 billion yen, according to the median of 19 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.