Panasonic said Friday its net loss reached $7.5 billion in the year to March on falling demand, but pledged it would return to profit by next March. The struggling electronics giant logged a 754.25 billion yen ($7.5 billion) net loss over the year to March, slightly trimming a 772.17 billion yen net loss seen in the previous year, one of the worst-ever losses for a non-financial Japanese firm. Its operating profit however jumped 268 percent to 160.94 billion yen as the firm carried out aggressive cost cutting and reform programmes, while sales came to 7.3 trillion yen, down 6.9 percent. The company said the electronics industry as a whole "continued to be in a severe business situation including sluggish demand in flat-panel TVs mainly in Japan." Panasonic, like key domestic rivals Sony and Sharp, has long suffered in its television business where foreign rivals have proved tough competition, while its debt was also fanned by the purchase of smaller rival Sanyo. The company also booked some 508 billion yen as a business restructuring expense. The firm said the yen's rapid fall against the dollar and the euro toward the end of the fiscal year helped lift its earnings.