Tesla helps drive Panasonic to record results

STORY: Tesla is helping drive Panasonic to higher profits.

Batteries for electric vehicles are now among the hot sellers for the Japanese conglomerate.

It’s predicting a record profit for the year as a result.

The firm expects net profit to jump by almost a third to about $2.6 billion.

Besides selling batteries, it also expects a big U.S. tax credit for the EV cells.

That could add almost $750 million to the bottom line.

Panasonic is best known for its consumer electronics, but makes everything from rice cookers to industrial robots.

In another plus, it now expects to face fewer problems with parts shortages as a global chips drought eases.

Price rises for parts and materials are also seen moderating.

Batteries look like the star though, with profits at its energy unit predicted to jump fourfold this year.

Panasonic makes EV cells in the U.S. state of Nevada, and is building another plant in Kansas.

Over the latest quarter the firm posted a profit of around $400 million - just shy of analyst estimates.