Panasonic sees tough year ahead for business

Company showcases new technologies with an eye on Expo 2020 and Qatar World Cup

Gulf News

Dubai: Panasonic sees a tough year ahead due to fluctuating exchange rates and earthquakes in Japan but it is performing better than the Middle East, Masaki Arizono, executive officer and vice-president for AVC Networks company, told Gulf News.

Consumer electronics contribute about 30 per cent to Panasonic’s revenue and 70 per cent comes from B2B. Out of the 70 per cent B2B business, he said the focus is on housing, car information systems and the batteries it makes with Tesla Motors Inc.

Panasonic is forecasting an 8.5 per cent drop in profit next fiscal year due to cooling Chinese economy after reporting a 7.7 per cent rise in last fiscal year.

The company recently announced that it will miss its target of 10 trillion yen in sales by fiscal 2018.

Arizono, after unveiling new technologies, said that the Rio 2016 Olympics was an important factor for Panasonic and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be a huge opportunity for new technologies.

Shinichi Wakita, Managing Director for Panasonic Marketing Middle East and Africa, said that the year is very tough for the region because of weak oil prices. Both consumer electronics and B2B sectors are impacted.

He said the only hope in the region is Iran and Pakistan.

On Sunday, Panasonic showcased its Ballooncam for the first time outside of Japan, which combines a drone with a large balloon and a camera.


The Ballooncam can be used for staging various sports and events. Powered by four propellers, the Ballooncam can fly around event venues in synch with the planned performance.

“Intended mainly for live event, concert and sports coverage, it has interesting applications for narrative film as well,” Arizono said.

Panasonic also displayed a television that becomes almost invisible when you’re not using it. Arizono describes it as future of television displays.

The TV looks like an ordinary piece of glass when it is off and when it is turned on, it functions like a normal TV.

Panasonic has been improving its television technology as the company has made a profit for the first time in eight years.

“We are displaying these path-breaking concepts, keeping in mind mega events like Expo 2020 in Dubai, World Cup Football 2022 in Qatar as also, other large scale projects keeping in line with the region’s vision to embrace the latest in technological advances for a smart connected world,” Arizono said.