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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 03/12/2013

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Panasonic expects a double-digit growth in its revenues for financial year 2013, compared to last year despite challenging situations in some Middle Eastern countries, according to a senior official in the region.

The Japanese electronics giant is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business and industrial needs.

"Our first half was good and the company's regional office achieved a year-on-year double-digit growth in revenues. We are hoping it will be the same or better for the second half of our fiscal year despite all issues in the region," Anthony Peter, director of the Brand Communications Department at Panasonic Marketing Middle East and Africa, told Khaleej Times in an interview.

Gulf countries are doing very well in terms of generating revenues for Panasonic, but there are challenging situations in a few Middle Eastern countries," Peter said. Outside the Gulf, some countries are facing difficult times in the region, he said, adding: "We hope we can work on those challenges."

He mentioned that most of the growth is coming from home appliances and cameras. He admitted that the company is not competing in smaller-size TVs.

"We are more on bigger size and doing well," he added.

Africa focus
Since April, the Middle East office of Panasonic has all African countries under its supervision. "Earlier, we had East Africa under the Middle East office, but now the whole Africa region has come to this office," Peter said. "Our reach [has] become bigger and challenges as well," he said, adding that Africa will help boost the regional office's revenues significantly because it's a huge market to explore.

The Dubai office has already started exploring new markets in Africa and organised two big events this year, he said, adding: "Last week we organised our popular convention in Lagos, Nigeria, in addition to first one in August this year in Nairobi, Kenya. Both of these conventions proved very good."

The company also has opened offices in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Egypt, he said.

Beauty products
Panasonic is mostly known for its big range of home appliances, cameras and other electronics products, but the Japanese company is also very much involved in beauty products and recently introduced three new ones based on advanced nanoe technology.

Panasonic's new hair dryer, hair straightener and facial steamer incorporate unique and advanced nanoe technology, which is just one of the many reasons Panasonic's latest range of beauty and grooming products stand apart from its competition, according to the company.

These three products are highly popular in South-east Asia, Peter said, adding: "We are introducing these for the first time in this region... The product reviews of our newly-launched beauty products are very good. There is completion in this range of products, but no one else has these products with nanoe technology."

Talking about the new technology, he said water, being an indispensable part of life and beauty, Panasonic's nano-sized ion particles contain 1,000 times more water than negative ions.

These nano-sized particles (pH5.5) penetrate into the hair, scalp and skin more effectively, hence keeping them moisturised longer leaving you with more moist hair and fresher looking skin, even in dry Middle East conditions.

Expo 2020
Peter mentioned that Expo 2020 will bring benefits for all in the UAE, especially in Dubai. The UAE's visionary leadership and planned infrastructure has made this country a mini global village, he added.

"Selecting Dubai as a host city of the World Expo 2020 is a right choice. We see Expo will help all business sectors and we also foresee great technical impact and use of innovative technology during this event," he explained.

"Basically, it will impact businesses in a big way in terms of retail and technology. It will create a huge potential for the existing growth of the industry not only electronics sector, but all retail sector," he added.

Gitex Technology Week
Panasonic has been participating in Gitex Technology Week for the last several years and introduce new innovation every year. This year was no exception as the company launched new projectors and a 20-inch tablet for professionals and top government officials.

"This year's Gitex was comparatively better than last year. But in terms of traffic it was not as good as I was expecting. The good thing is that a lot of officials from the government sector visited us. Dubai always seems to be there, but this year we saw people coming from Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Overall, the quality of enquiries which we received at our stand, were satisfactory," he said.

This year, Panasonic actively promoted and created new business-to-business and business-to-governments opportunities catering to diverse industry verticals, while continuing to sustain its products in the traditional B2C business sphere.

Panasonic offers a complete and extensive range of versatile interactive solutions, which are technologically advanced.

Unique visual solutions and leading mobile wireless solutions also displayed including high-end industry solutions tailored specifically for the regional businesses.




 






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