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Sanyo cuts 1,200 jobs, lowers annual forecast

TOKYO – Japanese electronics maker Sanyo Electric Co. said Thursday it will cut 1,200 jobs globally and barely break even in the fiscal year through March as sales get battered by sinking global demand and a strengthening yen.

Sanyo, which is being acquired by larger domestic rival Panasonic Corp., said the job reductions in its semiconductor division – 800 in Japan and 400 overseas – will be completed by the end of March.

“The job cut was due to a severe slump in the global semiconductor market,” said Sanyo spokeswoman Chieko Gyobu. Half of the cuts will be full-time workers with the rest coming from part-time or contract workers, she said.

The cuts will amount to 5 to 10 percent of Sanyo’s total work force in the semiconductor division. She declined to say a regional breakdown for the job losses abroad.

Revenue from Sanyo’s semiconductor business is expected to stand at 140 billion yen ($1.6 billion) in the current fiscal year to March 2009, down from 12 percent year-on-year.

Earlier, Sanyo said it expects to post zero profit for the fiscal year ending March 31. In May, it had expected a 35 billion yen profit.

Sanyo said sales have dropped in electronics devices and semiconductors. Restructuring costs and the appreciation of the yen are also behind the lower forecast, it said in a release.

Osaka-based Sanyo also lowered its sales forecast for the fiscal year through March to 1.9 trillion yen from 2.02 trillion yen.

Sanyo posted 28.7 billion yen profit on 2.018 trillion yen sales in the fiscal year ended March 2008.

Its shares fell 3.9 percent to 148 yen. The announcement about the earnings downgrade and job cuts came after the market close.

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