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Panasonic returns to profit on cost cuts, yen drop

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February 1, 2013 02:21 AM EST | AP


TOKYO — Japanese electronics maker Panasonic Corp. returned to the black last quarter as cost cuts and a weaker yen offset sliding sales.

Panasonic is among the Japanese electronics makers battered by price plunges in gadgets and hot competition from more successful rivals such as U.S. manufacturer Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea.

Osaka-based Panasonic reported a 61.4 billion yen ($667 million) profit for the October-December period Friday. It had 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 percent to 1.8 trillion yen ($19.6 billion).

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