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Asian CE Makers Post Upbeat Financials

11/08/2010 12:01:00 AM Eastern
NEW YORK — The U.S. economy is still muddled, inventories for key CE product categories like flat-panel TVs might still be too high, and exchange rates — especially the yen/dollar variety — are still difficult, but there were some good financial performances for top Asian manufacturers in the quarter, ended Sept. 30.

Earnings season was in full swing during the past two weeks, with such manufacturers as Canon, Fujifilm, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp and Sony all reporting some or a lot of hope for the holiday selling season and beyond.

Here is an alphabetical listing of some of the financial highlights you may have missed from some top Asian-based manufacturers in the past two weeks:

Canon: Net sales were up 17.9 percent to $10.87 billion compared with the prior year’s third quarter, operating profit was $1.24 billion up 74.1 percent and net income was up 85.6 percent to $811.8 million.

In Canon’s consumer business unit, sales volumes of such new digital-SLR cameras as the EOS Digital Rebel T2i (EOS 550D) and the competitively priced EOS Digital Rebel T1i (EOS 500D), along with the EOS 5D Mark II and EOS 7D advanced-amateur models, had sustained and healthy growth.

Fujifilm: Fiscal second-quarter sales were 1,105 billion yen, up 5.9 percent from the prior year’s second quarter. Fujifilm recorded 40.3 billion yen of income for the quarter, compared with the prior year’s 5.4 billion yen loss. Operating income was 85.9 billion yen, another turnaround from the 8.6 billion yen operating loss in the prior year’s fiscal second quarter.

LG Electronics: LG reported trouble in its handset business and posted consolidated third-quarter 2010 revenues of 13.4 trillion won ($11.3 billion), a 2 percent decline from the same period last year (up 3 percent in U.S. dollars). Net profit was 8 billion won ($6.4 million) in the third quarter, compared year on year with net profit of $650 million (807 billion Korean won).

The LG Mobile Communications Company had revenues decrease by 30 percent year over year in the Korean won (27 percent in U.S. dollars) as a result of a decline in handset shipments across developed markets.

In LG’s Home Entertainment Company, more flatpanel TVs in the third quarter were shipped than in any time in company history — 6.6 million units — a 37 percent increase from the same period the previous year.

Panasonic: Net sales were 2,206.8 billion yen, an increase of 27 percent over last year’s fiscal second quarter. Net income was 31.0 billion yen for the quarter, up from last year’s 6.1 billion yen. Operating profit was 85.2 billion yen, up from the prior year’s 49.1 billion yen.

In its digital AVC networks segment, sales increased 3 percent to 1,657.8 billion yen, from 1,604.1 billion yen. Despite a decline in sales of mobile phones and digital cameras, this result was due mainly to favorable sales of flat-panel TVs and automotive electronics, Panasonic said. Operating profit for the segment improved 381 percent to 61.3 billion yen, from 12.7 billion yen, mainly as a result of fixed cost reduction and comprehensive streamlining efforts.

Samsung: A 17 percent increase in net earnings of 4.46 trillion won in its third quarter, ended Sept. 30, was matched by net sales of 40.23 trillion won, up 12 percent.

By segment, digital media sales were 14.13 trillion won, up 10 percent year on year. Flat-panel TV unit shipments were 9.07 million during the quarter, up 17 percent year on year, with 1 million 3D TVs having been shipped. In the appliance business, sales increased 25 percent year on year.

The telecom segment, which includes mobile, had a sales gain of 16 percent to 11.12 trillion won. Samsung’s unit shipments of wireless handsets were up 19 percent year on year to 71.4 units, due to increased sales and demand for smartphones.

Sharp: Though not breaking out its fiscal secondquarter results separately, Sharp reported net sales increased in the first half by 16.7 percent to 1.5 trillion yen. Net income was 14.3 billion yen compared with last fiscal year’s first half loss of 17.7 billion yen.

Sharp said that sales in its audio/visual and communications group increased due to strong LCD TV and Blu-ray recorder sales. In key product categories, LCD color TV sales were 365.4 billion yen, an increase of 19.4 percent year on year. Unit sales for the half were up 43 percent over last year.

Sony: Sales were 1,733.2 billion yen for its fiscal second quarter, an increase of 4.3 percent year on year. Net income was 31.1 billion yen, compared with the prior year’s net loss of 26.3 billion yen. Operating income for the quarter was 68.7 billion yen, compared with an operating loss of 32.6 billion yen year on year.

By business segment in consumer, professional and devices, sales increased 1.4 percent year on year (an 11 percent increase on a local currency basis) to 885.3 billion yen ($10.7 billion). Sales to outside customers increased 3.4 percent year on year due to an increase in LCD television sales. Operating income increased by 10.3 billion yen year on year to 16.9 billion yen ($203 million). This was driven primarily by an increase in gross profit due to higher sales, an improvement in the cost of sales ratio and a decrease in restructuring charges, Sony said.
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