Panasonic reports first annual profit in three years

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Japanese consumer electronics giant Panasonic has reported its first full-year profit for three years, with the weaker yen helping to boost sales.

The maker of the Lumix camera posted profits of 120.4bn yen ($1.2bn; £710m) for the year to March, compared with a 754bn yen loss a year earlier.

The company also said cost cutting had boosted its profitability.

Panasonic is forecasting a 16% jump in net profit to 140bn yen for the current financial year.

This increase is based on the economic recovery in the US and Europe.

Panasonic has more than 600 business units within the organisation, with interests ranging from home appliances to housing equipment such as ventilation systems, as well as industrial products in the automotive and robotics sectors.

Sales in its appliances division rose by 10% from one year ago, which was mainly driven by a surge in consumer spending in Japan ahead of the rise in the country's consumption tax.

Japan increased the consumption tax rate to 8% from 5% on 1 April.

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