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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.