updated 02:57 pm EDT, Fri October 26, 2012
Sources suggest missing first-year target to blame
Panasonic is to withdraw from European mobile phone sales within the next six months, according to reports. If true, the exit would see the company move out from the continent, with leaks suggesting that it will most likely miss its self-set target of 1.5 million smartphone sales this financial year.
The Japanese manufacturer returned to mobile sales in Europe in April, after pulling out of international phone sales in 2005. One of its first handsets, the Eluga, did not seem to catch on as much as the company hoped, despite its waterproof selling point. If it sold well, Panasonic was hoping to hit 15 million in global handset sales by March 2016, though sources of Reuters claim the 1.5 million target is unlikely to be reached.
Kazuhiro Tsuga, current boss of Panasonic, is planning to cut loss-making and low-profit sections of the business, and will announce a plan for the restructuring by the end of March. Forecasts for the current quarter suggest an annual operating profit of 260 billion yen ($3.3 billion), while results for the most recent quarter are expected to be out on October 31st.