Panasonic’s Q1 profit widens to $445 million

Sales from the Osaka-based conglomerate’s Eco Solutions division — which makes PV modules, among other products — rose 3% year on year in the April-June period to JPY 361.2 billion, according to an online statement. It did not disclose additional details about the performance of its solar business.

Group net sales hit  JPY 1,865.3 billion, from JPY 1,774.8 billion a year earlier. Roughly 54.5% of the company’s sales were in markets outside of Japan.

In May, Panasonic posted a net profit attributable to shareholders of JPY 149.4 billion for the fiscal year to the end of March, down 9.6% year on year, as falling sales of PV modules in Japan dented its earnings. However, its automotive and industrial solutions division — which supplies lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and energy-storage applications — recorded an operating profit of JPY 109.3 billion, which was roughly twice as high as its profit in the preceding year.

The automotive space recently emerged as a potential sales channel for Panasonic’s solar technologies. In February, it revealed that it had started supplying 180 W solar modules and automotive prismatic lithium-ion batteries for the new 2017 Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid vehicle.