Panasonic's Q1 profit soars 27 times

Operating profit at Panasonic surged more than 27 times in the first quarter.

The Japanese firm said demand for home appliances and automotive batteries helped it recover from a hit last year.

Profit between April and June rose to $950 million, some 50% higher than market expectations.

And its strongest performance for a first quarter since 2008.

Moving away from low-margin consumer electronics, Panasonic has become a key supplier of batteries to Tesla.

That said, its home appliances such as air conditioners and TVs, have also sold well this year as people spend more time at home.

Panasonic's automotive division has been benefiting from growing demand for electric car batteries.

It's been in partnership with Tesla for a decade, although the relationship has at times been testy.

Panasonic is launching a test line in Japan to make Tesla's so-called 4680 battery cells.

The automaker claims it will halve battery costs and help it ramp up battery production 100-fold by 2030.

Tesla this month posted record vehicle deliveries for the second quarter, weathering a global chip crunch better than rivals.

Panasonic also has a battery partnership with Toyota.

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