Panasonic to slash 15,000 jobs

Japanese electronics company predicts $4 billion annual loss as recession bites.

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TOKYO, Japan (CNN) -- Panasonic Corp., hard hit by the global recession, will cut 15,000 jobs by March 2010, the company announced Wednesday.

Half of the job losses will come from plants in Japan, with the rest from international workforce reductions. No breakdown of overseas job cuts was provided.

Panasonic spokesman Jim Reilly said the company employs 6,500 workers in the U.S., primarily in R&D, services, sales and product design.

"The focal point of [the job cuts] is the closing of factories," said Reilly, noting that manufacturing is not conducted in the U.S.

Panasonic (PC) also announced third-quarter financial results. The electronics company posted a net loss of ¥63.1 billion ($710 million). The company said it expects a loss of ¥380 billion ($4.25 billion) for the fiscal year ending March 31.

Panasonic joins fellow electronics giant Sony (SNE) in forecasting an operating loss. Last month, Sony warned it will close out the fiscal year with an operating loss of ¥260 billion ($2.9 billion), its first in 14 years. To top of page

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