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Japanese Air Con firms face huge losses

Japanese manufacturing giants Panasonic, Mitsubishi Electric and Hitachi have revealed grim financial figures for the third quarter and the nine month period up to December 31.

Panasonic says it will cut 15,000 jobs worldwide after seeing a drop in operating profits for the third quarter of 84 per cent compared to the same period of 2007.

It is now predicting it will post a net loss of around £2.9billion at the end of the year. The Home Appliances division which includes environmental systems listed “sluggish” compressor sales as a factor leading to a four per cent sales slide in the last nine months.

Mitsubishi Electric has cut its consolidated earnings forecast from a profit of £930mill to £77.9mill – although its unconsolidated figures forecast a £155mill loss.

Its home appliance division saw a 10 per cent drop in sales and operating income reduced by 40 per cent to £70mill. The division reported increasing heat pump sales failed to compensate for falling air conditioner sales in parts of Europe and the stronger yen

said room air conditioners were one of the products seeing declining sales due to deteriorating economic conditions.

Its Digital Media and Consumer Products division – which includes air conditioners – saw sales down 25 per cent in the third quarter compared to 2007 and posted an operating loss of £125million. Overall Hitachi is now predicting a £5.4bill loss this financial year.