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Asian CE Vendors' Financials Provide Mixed Picture

2/07/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern
NEW YORK —Leading CE manufacturers from Japan and Korea reported quarterly or nine-month financial results in the past couple of weeks that are decidedly mixed.

While all report continuing challenges in the world economy, especially in North America, with exchange rates being a leading culprit, some companies are also revealing challenges in their own product mix.

However, many are reporting success stories in their product mix.

The reports, whether they are for the quarter or nine months, all end Dec. 31, 2010. Here they are in alphabetical order:

JVC Kenwood reported a net profit in its fiscal third quarter, but net sales fell 11.3 percent compared with the same time in the prior year.

Net sales were 90.6 billion yen, lower than the prior year’s 102.1 billion yen, but net income was 5.386 billion yen, compared with an equivalent loss of 5.43 billion in the prior year’s fiscal third quarter.

In the current third quarter, following on from the second consolidated first half, sales of the car electronics business were favorable in both consumer and OEM segments, and in the professional systems business segment, orders received recovered centering on land mobile radio segment, the company said.

In CE there was reduction in the display segment in the U.S. and European markets and lower sales mainly overseas in the camcorder segment, and these factors also caused business to decline.

LG Electronics reported a net loss in the fourth quarter on slightly higher sales due in part to lower sales and an operating loss in its cellphone business.

The net loss for the quarter was 256 billion won, compared with net income of 362 billion won for the same quarter in the prior year. Sales in the fourth quarter, were 14.7 trillion won, down year on year from 14.4 trillion won.

In LG’s mobile communications sector, handset sales were 3.3 trillion won in the quarter, down from the prior year’s 3.9 trillion won. LG expects a turnaround in handsets during 2011, with an increase of 8 percent in unit sales and higher profitability due to an emphasis on premium smartphones and tablet PCs.

In its home entertainment, sector sales were 6.21 trillion in the quarter, up from the prior year’s 5.93 trillion in sales. Profitability in the fourth quarter decreased from the third quarter due to intensified competition in TVs, resulting in lower unit prices. In major appliances, sales increased 14 percent year on year to 2.8 trillion won due in part to strong sales in North America.

Panasonic reported double-digit increases in net sales and income during its fiscal third quarter. Sales increased 21 percent to 2,285.5 billion yen, from 1,886.6 billion yen and net income totaled 40.0 billion yen, up from 32.3 billion yen, year on year.

For the first nine months of its fiscal year Panasonic’s digital AVC networks business sales increased to 2,585.4 billion yen, up 0.3 percent from 2,578.2 billion yen a year ago. Despite a decline in sales of mobile phones and digital cameras, this result was due mainly to favorable sales of Blu-ray Disc recorders and flatpanel TVs. Operating profit increased 91 percent to 101.2 billion yen, from 52.9 billion yen.

In its home appliance segment, sales increased 8 percent to 974.2 billion yen, compared with 900.5 billion yen a year ago. Operating profit increased 41 percent to 81.9 billion yen, from 58 billion yen, due mainly to strong sales and fixed cost reduction.

Samsung Electronics reported a 7 percent increase in revenues and a 13 percent increase in net income for the fourth quarter. Samsung had revenues of 41.87 trillion Korean won on a consolidated basis for the fourth quarter and net income of 3.42 trillion won, a 13 percent increase year on year.

Samsung’s performance in the fourth quarter was driven by memory semiconductors and strong sales of its cutting-edge smartphones. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, however, profit margins decreased primarily due to weakening pricing for memory semiconductors and LCD panels, as well as price competition in the TV market.

Driven by strong year-end demand for the company’s flagship smartphones, Samsung’s mobile device sales reached 80.7 million units for the quarter, up 17 percent year on year. This brought total sales for the year to 280 million units, registering growth of 23 percent and outperforming the overall market, Samsung reported

Samsung shipped 12.72 million flat panel TVs in the fourth quarter, a 40 percent jump compared with the previous quarter and a 17 percent on-year increase. LED TVs sales grew strongly during the fourth quarter as consumers in developed markets continued to adopt this new technology.

Sharp Electronics reported a double-digit increase in net sales and recorded a net profit for the nine months period. Net sales were 2.32 trillion yen, a 15 percent gain year on year, and net income was 21.8 billion yen compared with the prior year-on-year loss of 8.59 billion yen.

Sharp benefitted from the performance in its consumer information products segment with growth in demand for Aquos Quattron LCDs, its 3D LCD TVs and, outside of the U.S. market, Blu-ray Disc recorders.

Sony reported lower sales in its fiscal third quarter as well as lower net profit due foreign exchange rates and, in the case of consumer products, LCD TV competition.

Sony’s sales for the quarter were 2,206.2 billion yen (or $27.2 billion), a decrease of 1.4 percent year on year. Net income was 72.08 billion yen, down 8.6 percent year on year.

In its consumer, professional and devices segment, sales increased 4.2 percent year on year (a 13 percent increase on a local currency basis) to 1,090.9 billion yen ($13.5 billion) This was primarily due to higher LCD television sales resulting from increased unit sales, higher semiconductor sales resulting from increased small- and medium-sized LCD panel sales.

But operating income decreased 24 billion yen year on year to 26.8 billion yen ($331 billion), a 47.2 percent drop in yen, due in part to LCD TVs.

In its networked products segment, which includes PlayStation and Vaio PCs, sales decreased 6.4 percent year on year (a 3 percent increase on a local currency basis) to 566.6 billion yen ($6.9 billion). Operating income increased 26.3 billion yen year on year to 45.7 billion yen ($564 million).

Toshiba’s digital products segment reported sales growth of 4 percent during the quarter to 663.4 billion yen while operating profits were down 4.2 billion yen to 2.7 billion yen.

Toshiba reported that the digital products segment had overall higher sales due to TVs and video in general both in Japan and in overseas markets. The PC business also had increased sales in both markets, but the storage products business had lower sales reflecting the impact of price erosion.
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