By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
NEW YORK – Corporate operating profits were up for key Asian manufacturers in the final quarter of 2013, but soft CE demand hurt net sales and net profits in the quarter.
LG Electronics reported a net loss due to a European Commission fine in December on alleged CRT pricing issues and slightly lower sales, but it recorded higher operating profits during the fourth quarter. LG’s net loss was 468 billion Korean won ($428.96 million), but the net loss for the prior year’s fourth quarter was 112 billion won.
Fourth-quarter consolidated revenues were 13.5 trillion won ($12.37 billion) compared with the prior year’s revenues of 13.8 trillion won. Operating profit was 107 billion won ($98.08 million), higher than the prior year’s 86 billion won.
The LG Home Entertainment Company reported lower sales in the quarter of 6.44 trillion won ($5.91 billion), compared with the prior year’s fourth-quarter sales of 6.625 trillion won. Operating profit for the fourth quarter was 19 billion won, down from the prior year’s 168 billion won. The segment’s profitability declined due to lower average selling prices and increased competition, LG said.
The LG Mobile Communications Company reported smartphone shipments grew 23 percent compared with the previous quarter, increasing to 8.6 million devices from the 7 million in the third quarter. Fourth-quarter revenues were the highest of the year, growing 15 percent to 2.81 trillion won ($2.58 billion) quarter on quarter.
The LG Home Appliance Company posted almost flat revenues year on year, with sales of 2.94 trillion won ($2.7 billion) in the fourth quarter and strong sales reported for the U.S.
Panasonic reported net and operating profits in its fiscal third quarter, but lower sales, which the company blamed weak demand for CE. Consolidated group sales in the quarter decreased year on year by 8 percent to 1,801.5 billion yen.
Panasonic posted an operating profit and net income reversing losses in both categories as compared with the prior year’s fiscal third quarter. Operating income was 34.5 billion yen, compared with a loss of 8.1 billion yen a year ago, and net income was 61.4 billion yen, compared with a loss of 197.6 billion yen a year ago.
In the first three quarters of its fiscal year, Panasonic reported that AVC network’s sales decreased 23 percent to 1,078.9 billion yen from the previous year. The result was due mainly to a significant sales decline in flat-panel TVs and digital cameras. The segment’s operating profit improved to 21.6 billion yen, compared with a year-ago loss of 40.5 billion yen.
Sharp Electronics reported lower sales, but an operating profit and a reduced net loss for its fiscal third quarter. Net sales were up 15.1 percent year on year to 678. 2 billion yen, and operating income was 2.6 billion yen, compared with a 24.4 billion yen operating loss in the prior year’s fiscal third quarter. The net loss for the quarter was 36.7 billion, an improvement over the 173.6 billion loss in the prior year’s fiscal third quarter.
Sales in its audio visual and communications equipment segment were down 25.1 percent year on year to 202.3 billion yen. However, operating income was 5.3 billion yen, compared with a 3.9 billion yen loss in the prior year’s third quarter.
Sony Electronics reported higher net sales, an operating profit and lower net loss in its fiscal third quarter, but TV and video game sales were still down.
Sales were 1,948 billion yen ($22.4 billion) in its quarter, ended Dec. 31, 2012, an increase of 6.9 percent year on year. Operating income of 46.4 billion yen ($534 million) was recorded, compared with an operating loss of 91.7 billion yen year on year. The net loss decreased 148.2 billion yen year on year to 10.8 billion yen ($124 million).
In home entertainment and sound segment, sales decreased 17.9 percent year on year due to a drop in LCD television unit sales. TV sales decreased 23.3 percent year on year to 182.7 billion yen ($2.1 billion), and operating loss decreased 86.6 billion yen year on year to 14.7 billion yen ($169 million).
In the mobile products and communications segment sales increased 94.4 percent year on year to 318.8 billion yen ($3.7 billion). This increase was primarily due to the consolidation of Sony Mobile from February 2012, partially offset by significantly lower sales of PCs resulting from a decline in unit sales.
The operating loss decreased 27.1 billion yen year on year to 21.3 billion yen ($245 million). In the game segment, sales decreased 15.1 percent year on year to 268.5 billion yen ($3.09 million). Operating income decreased 29.2 billion yen year on year to 4.6 billion yen ($53 million). This decrease was primarily due to the above-mentioned decrease in sales of PlayStation3 software and PlayStation Portable hardware.
Toshiba reported lower consolidated sales but a net profit and operating profit in its fiscal third quarter. Net sales were 1,357.1 billion yen ($15.6 billion), a decrease of 84.3 billion yen, but operating income was up 20.7 billion yen to 29.3 billion, and net income was 29.3 billion yen, a 40.8 billion yen increase from last year’s quarterly loss.
Toshiba’s digital products segment had lower sales but improved operating income. Net sales were down 13 percent to 374.1 billion yen, but operating income was up 2.5 percent reflecting, in part, success in the PC business to initiate cost reductions.
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