Asian Quarterly Reports Hold Some Surprises

By Steve Smith On Aug 6 2012 - 4:01am




NEW YORK – Panasonic returned to the black, Canon sold more cameras, LG had good appliance sales and Samsung rode its smartphones to profitability in the quarter ending June 30.

But Sony and Sharp reported wider losses for the quarter due to lower TV sales, with the latter announcing 5,000 in layoffs by next March.

Here are the company-by-company details of their results:

Canon reported in its imaging system business unit (formerly the consumer business unit), the performance was upbeat, with sales and operating profits up more than 20 percent for each, year on year. Its second-quarter sales for the unit were up 22.3 percent to $4.68 billion and quarterly profit was up 23.6 percent to $709 million.

Fujifilm cited the weak global economy for lower consolidated revenue and operating income during its fiscal first quarter. Fujifilm reported revenue for the quarter, ended June 30, was down 2.2 percent to 518 billion yen, or $6.6 billion. Operating income was 20.9 billion yen, or $2.7 billion, down 27.8 percent from the same period in 2012.

LG Electronics reported second-quarter net profit increased 46 percent year over year to $138.02 million while operating profit more than doubled to $302.95 million from the same period last year. Revenues, while 5.2 percent higher than in the first quarter, declined from last year’s second quarter by 10.6 percent to $11.16 billion.

Stronger performance in home entertainment and home appliances compared with the second quarter last year helped offset profit declines in LG’s mobile business.

Nintendo said net sales were 84.8 billion yen, 9.7 percent lower than the prior year and the loss was 17.2 billion yen, an improvement over the 25.5 billion yen loss in the prior year’s first quarter. The appreciation of the yen is one of the reasons for the loss in its fiscal first quarter, ended June 30. Nintendo added that during the quarter the Nintendo 3DS had “robust” sales in Japan but hardware sales only reached 1.86 million units worldwide.

Panasonic returned to profitability but also reported lower sales in its fiscal first quarter, ended June 30. The net income of 12.8 billion yen for the quarter reduces a loss of 30.4 billion yen in the prior year’s first quarter.

Consolidated group sales for the first quarter decreased by 6 percent to 1,814.5 billion yen due mainly to weak demand for A/V products in Japan, compared with 1,929.5 billion for the prior year’s first quarter.

Despite the sales decline and yen appreciation, the results were due mainly to fixed cost reductions and streamlining of material costs, the company said.

Sales in the Americas were up 2 percent on a yen basis and 5 percent in local currency compared with the prior year’s fiscal first quarter due to stable CE sales and good automotive systems sales.

And while Panasonic did report that flat-panel TV sales were down, it did turn an operating profit of 25 billion yen in the quarter, reversing the prior year’s 11 billion yen operating loss, due to a restructuring, cost improvements and an emphasis on larger screen sizes.

Samsung Electronics rode the coattail of its Galaxy smartphone sales to a $4.53 billion profit for its second quarter. The profit was 21 percent higher than during the same period last year and was made on revenue of $41.6 billion for the quarter, ended June 30.

Samsung said it had success across all its business sectors except in semiconductors. Its mobile communications business generated $17.9 billion in revenue and was strongly supported by the launch of the Galaxy S III smartphone and Note sales. The handset business unit saw earnings rise 75 percent year over year.

Sharp Electronics reported a wider net loss in its fiscal first quarter and announced a plan to lay off 5,000 employees by next spring.

Sharp reported a net loss of 138.4 billion yen ($1.8 billion) in its first quarter compared with the prior year’s 49.3 billion yen loss. Net sales were 458.6 billion yen, 182 billion yen lower than last year’s fiscal first quarter.

Sharp said that it will cut 5,000 jobs worldwide by March 2013, reorganize its business groups among attempts to cut costs, and return to profitability.

In its, audio/visual and communications equipment sector, sales were down 54.9 percent to 134.1 billion yen due to much lower LCD TV demand in Japan and a price drop, which offset higher sales overseas.

Sony posted a net loss of 24.6 billion yen ($312 million), which was 9.1 billion yen deeper than the prior year’s fiscal first quarter loss. Corporately, sales were up 1.4 percent to 1,515.2 billion yen ($19.2 billion) compared with the prior year.

By business segment related to CE products, in home entertainment and sound, sales were down 26.2 percent year on year to 251.8 billion yen ($3.2 billion). This was primarily due to a decrease in LCD television unit sales in Japan, North America and Europe. The operating loss decreased 3.6 billion yen year on year to 10 billion yen ($126 million) due to cutting expenses in the LCD panel business.

However, TV sales were down 35 percent year on year to 157 billion yen ($1.99 billion), and operating loss decreased 8.1 billion yen year on year to 6.6 billion yen ($84 million U.S. dollars).

In the game segment, sales were down 14.5 percent year on year to 118 billion yen ($1.5 billion). Sony reported an operating loss in games of 3.5 billion yen ($45 million U.S. dollars), compared with operating income of 4.1 billion yen in the same quarter of the previous fiscal year.

In the imaging products and solutions segment, sales increased 7.6 percent year on year to 193.8 billion yen ($2.5 billion). Operating income was basically flat at 12.6 billion yen ($160 million).

In the mobile products and communications segment, sales were up 132.9 percent year on year to 285.6 billion yen ($3.7 billion). This increase was primarily due to the consolidation of Sony Mobile, partially offset by lower sales of PCs mainly resulting from price declines, Sony said.

Toshiba reported that in its digital products segment, sales were down 17 percent to 339.9 billion yen and the operating loss was 3.6 billion yen. The visual products business, which includes TVs, saw a sales decline vs. a year earlier, and the PC business also recorded a decrease on sluggish sales in the U.S., although unit sales rose in Japan and Europe.

Yamaha said in the A/V-IT segment, which includes home audio, commercial karaoke and IT equipment, fell 3.2 percent globally to 12 billion yen ($153.5 million) but were up in North America by an undisclosed amount. AV/IT operating income remained flat at 600 million yen ($7.68 million).

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