Panasonic announces price hikes from 8-22 per cent

Retail prices to rise but distributors and dealers safe for the immediate future

Prices are going up on Panasonic Australia's current range of consumer electronics products

Prices are going up on Panasonic Australia's current range of consumer electronics products

Panasonic Australia will raise prices on its current range of consumer electronics products from February 1.

On average prices are set to increase by around 10 per cent, with a highest average increase of 22 per cent in the microwave category.

On the channel side, Panasonic’s business systems group recently adjusted pricing for some its products but the company told ARN it did not foresee any additional price rises in the immediate future.

“The company is committed to minimising the impact of market and exchange rate issues on its partners and continues to invest in the channel,” a company spokesperson said.

“Panasonic will continue to monitor changing business conditions and remains in close contact with its distributors and dealers.”

Panasonic’s director of consumer electronics group, Paul Reid, said the retail price hikes came off the back of the poorly performing Australian dollar.

“Panasonic’s Australian operation buys in Japanese yen and the US dollar, and the market has seen the Australian dollar weaken against these currencies by more than 30 per cent since July 2008,” Reid wrote in a statement.

“We have worked particularly hard to ensure that our popular home entertainment range remains as affordable as possible. For example, in our most popular category of Plasma and LCD panels, we expect to see an average increase of around 9 per cent on the current range, a figure lower than market predictions.”

DVD and Blu-ray recorders and players, home theatre systems and hi-fi products will jump an average of 10 per cent. Home appliances will increase by 8-22 per cent.

Panasonic said it had notified retail partners of the expected increases and would advise them of the effect on individual models.

The company recently debuted the first portable Blu-ray player with screen at CES, along with a networking system that can connect an electric car to home devices.

Panasonic has also made news with its plans to see Sanyo become a unit of the company within the first quarter of 2009.

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