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CEA Sees 2001 Sales Hitting $95.6B

1/29/2001 02:00:00 AM Eastern

ALEXANDRIA, VA. - Factory-level sales of consumer electronics hit an all-time high $90.1 billion last year, with all major categories posting in-creases from 1999 levels and all but home audio setting new full-year records-and a repeat is in the cards for 2001, according to estimates and forecasts released at International CES by the Consumer Electronics Association's Market Research Department.

The data, representing a consensus of sales numbers provided by participating CEA members, estimates that overall industry sales climbed a record $8.25 billion last year, or a six-year high of 10.1 percent. The outlook for 2001 is for a 6.1 percent, or $5.48 billion, rise to $95.6 billion. Over a longer term, CEA is expecting 2002 to be the industry's first $100 billion sales years.

In core categories, video was the runaway growth leader in 2000, as demand for digital products and camcorders more than offset the sales declines of analog color TVs and VCRs, resulting in a 15 percent, or $2.54 billion, increase to $19.2 billion. For 2001, the outlook is for a 5.9 percent improvement to $20.3 billion.

Sales gains by compact stereo systems, home-theater-in-a-box products and MP3 players produced the third consecutive growth year for audio, though the improvement was a scant 0.4 percent to $6.16 billion. For this year a 1.8 percent rise to $6.27 billion is anticipated.

Mobile electronics sales last year were up an estimated 9.6 percent to $9.67 billion, with moderate increases posted across the board for audio, communication and detector products. CEA is anticipating a similar 8.3 percent rise to $10.5 billion for this year.

The industry's largest category, home information products, saw sales rise 7.3 percent to just less than $37.8 billion in 2000. Digital cameras provided strong growth, while results were mixed for communications products and computer peripherals. The category is targeted for a 3.3 percent revenue rise in 2001, with sales coming in at better than $39 billion.

Accessories and batteries were strong performers in 2000, but revenue from sales of magnetic tape and disks declined. The result was an overall 16.4 percent factory sales rise for the category to just over $7 billion last year. For 2001, the outlook is for a 7.4 percent increase to $7.52 billion.

Sales of electronic game hardware and software surged an estimated 16.3 percent to $8.55 billion in 2000, and with new major formats on the way, the outlook for 2001 is for an 18.7 percent jump to $10.2 billion.

Sales of home security products were up 5.4 percent to an estimated $1.75 billion last year and are seen rising 4 percent to $1.82 billion in 2001.

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