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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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