Panasonic back in the black

Japanese electronics maker Panasonic returned to the black in the last quarter of 2012 as cost-cutting and a weaker yen helped to offset sliding sales.

Panasonic is among the Japanese electronics makers battered by price plunges in the gadgets market and increased competition from more successful rivals such as US manufacturer Apple and South Korea’s Samsung.

Osaka-based Panasonic reported a 61.4 billion yen profit for the October-December period, following a loss of 698 billion yen in the previous quarter and a loss of 197.6 billion yen a year earlier.

Quarterly sales slipped 8% to 1.8 trillion yen.

The company said global demand for flat panel TVs and digital products and devices had weakened, but sales grew in LED lighting and car-related equipment.

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