Panasonic Corp. posted a 52.98-billion yen ($558 million US) loss as sliding sales, falling gadget prices and restructuring costs kept the Japanese elec­tronics maker in the red for a third straight quarter.

The Osaka-based maker of Viera TVs and Lumix digital cameras yesterday kept its forecast unchanged for a 195-billion yen ($2.05 billion) loss for the full fiscal year through March 2010.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had forecast a slightly worse 58.25-billion yen ($613.2 million) loss for the fiscal first quarter, and project a 184.97-billion yen ($1.95 billion) loss for the full year.

Panasonic said it was struggling to adapt as the focus for business growth shifts to emerging markets, such as India and China, amid a slump in the mature markets of the U.S., Japan and Europe.

Demand was also shifting toward cheaper consumer electronics goods, it said in a statement.

Panasonic, like other Japanese electronics makers, has been battered by the global economic slump and competition from rivals like Acer Inc., which are more adept at churning out lower-end products.

Last week, archrival Sony Corp. said it sank into a 37.1-billion yen ($391 million) loss for April-June, and stuck to a forecast for big full-year losses as quart­erly sales slipped 19.2 per cent on year.

Panasonic, previously called Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., said sales fell in every major product category, including video and TV products, personal computers, devices, housing, and home appliances such as air conditioners.