By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Iwaki, Japan – Alpine posted higher sales, but lower operating and net income during the first nine months of its fiscal year which ended Dec. 31, 2012.
Alpine post a 8.5 percent increase in sales to 157.9 billion yen ($1.69 billion) during the first nine months of fiscal 2012 but a 62.7 percent decline in operating income to 1.7 billion yen ($18.2 billion) and a 61.5 percent decline in net income to 1.14 billion yen ($12.2 million).
During the 2012 nine-month period, the company posted rising sales but lower operating profits in both of its business segments: audio products (OEM and aftermarket) and information and communications products, which include OEM and aftermarket navigation systems, OEM display systems, and OEM and aftermarket backup cameras.
Audio segment sales were up 1.4 percent to 41.6 billion yen on an operating income decline of 36.4 percent to 590 million yen. Information and communications sales were up 11.3 percent to 117 billion yen on a 31.6 percent drop in operating income to 4.7 billion yen.
Audio-segment sales in the North American aftermarket were flat year-over-year during the nine-month period.
“Alpine worked to expand sales in the North American aftermarket through sales for head units, chiefly CD players, and sound systems that combine high-quality speakers and amplifiers, as well as the start of sales of knocked-down products to the Brazilian market, where a commercial distribution network was newly acquired,” the company said. “However, as the market environment continued to be harsh, sales remained at the same level as the previous year.”
Information/communications sales in the North American aftermarket and in Europe “were sluggish due to a sales decline in hybrid products [audio/video/navigation systems] resulting from intensifying price competition as well as the later-than-planned introduction of new products,” the company said.
In contrast, sales to U.S. and European automakers in the information/communications-segment “substantially increased on the back of favorable sales at high-end car manufacturers in Europe and at major U.S. automakers,” Alpine said.
Overall, the company attributed its nine-month performance to the Japanese economy and slower economic growth in Germany, China and India. Overseas, the U.S. economy showed a gradual recovery, the company said.
Alpine said its global consolidated sales rose during the nine-month period largely because of “recovering production and sales by Alpine’s main automaker customers and steady automobile sales in the North American market.”
Consolidated profits were down, however, because “although the appreciation of the yen began to ease, exchange rates remained as high as ever, and sales competition intensified with rival companies in the domestic, U.S., and European aftermarkets.” The cost of materials for in-car displays and HDDs for automaker customers “remained as high as ever” and “placed downward pressure on profits,” the company said.
Although “steady sales of new cars in the U.S. provided the car electronics industry with impetus, the overall situation remained difficult due to the impact of production adjustments associated with stagnant sales of new cars in Europe and a reluctance to buy Japanese automobiles in China,” Alpine noted.
Currency conversions were made at a rate of 93.5 yen to the dollar.
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