CORRECTED: UPDATE1: Panasonic's April-Dec. net profit up on brisk sales of EV batteries

© Kyodo News

Panasonic Corp. on Wednesday reported a net profit of 195.63 billion yen ($1.70 billion) in the April-December period, up 50.3 percent from a year earlier, on the back of strong sales of batteries for electric vehicles.

The automotive and energy segments, key growth areas for the electronics company, logged sales of 774.9 billion yen, up 7 percent from a year earlier, and 568.0 billion yen, up 27 percent, respectively, due to strong overseas demand for in-vehicle equipment and electric car batteries for Tesla Inc.

The 860 billion yen acquisition of U.S. supply chain management firm Blue Yonder Holdings Inc. last year also contributed to the net profit jump, the company said.

In the meantime, Panasonic maintained its net profit forecast for the business year through March at 240 billion yen amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The operating profit of the Osaka Prefecture-based company during the nine months also increased to 274.15 billion yen from 226.80 billion yen a year earlier as sales rose 11.3 percent to 5.42 trillion yen.

Sales of home appliances including refrigerators rose 3 percent to 2.74 trillion yen, while operating profit of those items dropped 30 percent to 105.1 billion yen.

Panasonic, a major supplier of batteries to the U.S. electric vehicle maker, plans mass production of new longer-range lithium-ion batteries at its plant in Wakayama Prefecture, western Japan.