February 3, 2015 / 7:54 AM / 3 years ago

Panasonic says on track to meet annual profit target despite third quarter dip

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese electronics firm Panasonic Corp said a dip in quarterly operating profit won’t derail it from hoisting earnings 15 percent this year as a restructuring strategy of exiting low-margin product lines like TVs continues to pay off.

A man walks near a logo of Panasonic Corp at an electronics store in Tokyo April 28, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Osaka-based Panasonic said on Tuesday operating profit slipped 2.8 percent in its fiscal third quarter ended December to 113.3 billion yen ($967 million) from 116.6 billion yen a year earlier. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had estimated on average a bigger fall, to 109.7 billion yen.

Squeezed into multi-billion dollar losses in 2012 and 2013 by stiff competition from aggressive, cheaper Asian rivals, Panasonic has restructured itself by shifting its focus to high-tech parts for cars and energy-efficient homes, and away from smartphones and TVs.

It reiterated its full-year operating profit forecast of 350 billion yen, raised from 310 billion yen on Oct. 31 last year. In the previous fiscal year, operating profit was 305.1 billion yen.

($1 = 117.1500 yen)

Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

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