Jakarta. Panasonic Gobel Indonesia, the local unit of the Japanese electronic producer, is targeting a 20 percent growth in sales this year, betting on a stable rupiah.
In the year ending in March 2014, the company’s sales grew by 4 percent on the weakening rupiah and high inflation, said Rinaldi Sjarif, vice president director of Panasonic Gobel Indonesia.
“This year we expect sales to improve from last year; we are aiming for 20 percent. The rate is in line with the estimated growth in this year’s domestic electronic sales,” Rinaldi told reporters on Tuesday. He declined to share the detail on the company’s sales revenue.
In the six month period of April to September last year, the company saw a sharp rise in the sales of air conditioners, refrigerators and water pumps, said Rinaldi, who again declined to elaborate on Panasonic Indonesia’s financial performance as a result of the sudden increase.
However, the company saw an equally drastic drop in sales of the same three products in the six months following September 2013. The downturn was attributed to a weak rupiah and high inflation.
The Indonesian currency fell 26 percent against the greenback last year, while inflation accelerated to 8.3 percent after the government increase the price of subsidized fuel by an average of 33 percent.
Still, Panasonic Indonesia’ vice president director expressed confidence of an upturn in the company’s sales figures.
“We believe demand will improve this year as we estimate the exchange rate to stabilize,” Rinaldi said, adding that Indonesia’s large growing middle class is also expected to support demand.
Bank Indonesia reported consumer confidence index rose by 2 points to 118.2 in March, the index’s highest level since November 2012.
Panasonic Indonesia has also started selling products to automotive industries, such as car audio systems and lighting.
“The potential is huge in the business-to-business segment. We want to offer our services to the infrastructure sector and small- to middle-sized businesses,” Rinaldi said, naming road lights, surveillance cameras and electronic pass systems for toll gates as some of its newest devices.
According to Rinaldi, Indonesia is currently Panasonic’s 11th-largest revenue contributor.
The Japanese electronic producer has been making strides worldwide with their increasing range of products.
Last year, its US-based subsidiary, Panasonic Avionics Corporation, struck a deal with Garuda Indonesia to install the company’s Global Communication Services on Garuda’s Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.