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Panasonic back in the black with $163.7 million net profit

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Panasonic's Q1 2013 show that that the company has returned to profitability following its largest annual loss in history. While sales decreased in the vast majority of Panasonic's businesses, the company did see 71 percent growth in Automotive Systems.

Panasonic TV remote (STOCK)
Panasonic TV remote (STOCK)

Panasonic’s latest numbers reveal that the company is back to profitability following its largest-ever annual loss ($10.2 billion) in 2011. Its earnings for the June quarter show that while sales fell 6 percent, cutting payroll and other costs helped push the Osaka-based manufacturer back into the black with a net profit of ¥12.81 billion (about $163.6 million).

While sales decreased in the vast majority of Panasonic’s businesses it did see 71 percent growth in its Automotive Systems division, which manufactures things like car stereos and navigation systems. The company’s Plasma TV sales continue to slide, this time 47 percent year over year, while sales of BD recorders and players fell by more than 60 percent. However, these decreases are partially attributable to a shift away from unprofitable models, and the products' segment, which also includes personal computers, went from a ¥3.8 billion loss (about $48.6 million) to a ¥7.4 billion profit (about $94.6 million) over the year. The news wasn't all about cost-cutting, though. On the expenditure side, the company increased capital investment in its energy business by more than 50 percent, part of a shifting focus toward solar panel production.

Update: a previous version of this story incorrectly stated the US dollar amounts for loss and profit in billions rather than millions. We apologize for the error.