Panasonic has posted a big upturn in profits, but the Japanese giant's recovery is down to big cuts and a focus on white goods, with its audio visual business still struggling in the tough economic climate.

Panasonic, along with many of Japan's major companies, is still battling back from the horrifying earthquake that cost so many lives.

And it is the sale of televisions and Blu-ray players that is letting the company down, despite some promising gains in the computing business.

Feeling Blu

Virtually the first words on Panasonic's announcement of its first quarter results talk about overall sales on its high-profile AV business being weak, and this is borne out by the figures.

AV sales for the year are down a whopping 20 per cent year on year, with Panasonic commenting: "The home electronics market, especially flat-panel TVs, continued to be very difficult."

"Despite favourable sales of PCs and others, this result was due mainly to significant sales decline in flat panel TVs and BD recorders in Japan."

White goods are up three per cent but it is the restructuring that has brought an in crease in operating profit from 5.6 billion yen (£45m/$71.5) last year to an impressive 38.6 billion yen (£314m/$493m).

"These results were due mainly to fixed cost reduction and streamlining of material costs." comments Panasonic's downbeat release.