Panasonic Corp. said Thursday its group net profit in the half-year period from April to September rebounded to 169.33 billion yen (about 1.72 billion U.S. dollars) from the same period of last year, boosted by the cost-cutting efforts and the yen's depreciation. "Although business conditions are still severe, our profit drastically improved due to our thorough effort in bolstering our earnings," Managing Director Hideaki Kawai said at a press conference in Tokyo, local media reported. The net profit was the first for the half-year period in three years, with the figure in the first half of fiscal 2012 was 685.17 billion yen loss, Kyodo News said. According to Panasonic, its group operating profit soared 67.8 percent to 146.59 billion yen, on sales of 3.71 trillion yen, up 1. 9 percent, due to brisk sales of automotive and housing businesses. The robust earnings prompted Panasonic to double its group net profit estimate for the whole of the year to 100 billion yen against a loss of 754.25 billion yen in the previous year. While a group sales estimate was revised upward from an earlier 7.2 trillion yen to 7.4 trillion yen, up 1.3 percent from the previous year.