Pioneer posts $1.3 billion loss, changes product focus

By Patrick Avenell

Pioneer’s Japanese parent company last night announced the company had lost over 26 billion yen (AUD$440 million) for the three months to 31 December. In addition, for the nine months to 31 December, the listed Japanese company lost 79 billion yen, which is over AUD$1.3 billion.

On the back of these announcements, the company has confirmed it will formally exit the plasma panel market. This move is set to be completed by early next year.

“Pioneer will terminate any further in-house display product development after its
products currently available on the market, and withdraw from the display business
by March 2010,” reported Pioneer in a statement.

Where Pioneer will remain in the home electronics market is in three key categories: audio, DJ equipment and cable TV set top boxes. Furthermore, a greater emphasis will be placed on the company’s in-car entertainment and navigation business, which is set to pick up in line with the automobile industry by 2011.

The significant financial losses over the last nine months will affect the company’s employees, with 6,000 Pioneer employees set to lose their jobs from the worldwide workforce of 36,900. This figure does not include the 5,900 jobs that have already been cut since March 2008. In total, this equates to a workforce reduction of almost 28 per cent.

All this information has prompted Pioneer to significantly adjust its forecast for fiscal 2009, which in Japan runs April to March. The new forecast has the company registering a net loss of 130 billion yen, which is just under AUD$2.2 billion. This is almost double the previous forecast, which predicted a loss of 78 billion yen (AUD$1.3 billion).

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