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Matsushita Year A/V Sales Climb 7%

4/28/2003 12:54:00 PM Eastern

Osaka, Japan - Overall Matsushita Electric Industrial fiscal-year A/V equipment sales, hit $17.5 billion, a 7 percent increase over the year-earlier $16.3 percent.

This upward movement helped boost the company's AVC networks category to a 4 percent sales gain during the fiscal 12 months, reaching $36.6 billion, up from $35.3 billion in the year-ago period.

Despite slow sales of audio equipment in overseas markets, strong sales were recorded in AVC networks for plasma televisions, DVD recorders and other digital A/V equipment during the year, ended March 31.

The other segment of AVC networks, called information and communications equipment, climbed 1 percent in sales during the year, to $19.1 billion, up from $19 billion a year ago. In this segment, slowed sales of hard disk drives and PC peripheral equipment were offset by sales gains in car AVC equipment and strong overseas sales in cellular phones.

Overseas sales of video and audio equipment climbed 5 percent during the year, reaching $12.2 billion. Overseas sales of information and communications equipment, however, dropped 2 percent, to $9.6 billion during the 12 months.

Matsushita's AVC networks segment moved into the black during the fiscal year, coming in with profit of $877 million, compared with a loss of $313 million in the prior 12 months.

Matsushita sales to the Americas dropped 4 percent during the 12 months, down to $11.6 billion, compared with $12 billion one year ago. Profit in the Americas, however, moved into the black during the year, reaching $187 million, compared with a loss of $34.1 million year-on-year.

Although overall Matsushita business during its fiscal year was characterized by persisting instability - with overseas economies negatively affected by slowed growth in the United States - consolidated sales increased 5 percent, hitting $61.7 billion, up from $58.9 billion in the previous 12 months.

Aggressive promotion of competitive new products helped the company move its consolidated operating income into the black during the fiscal year, reaching $1.1 billion, compared with a year-ago operating loss of $58.9 million. Net figures, however, remained in the red for the year just finished, coming in at a net loss of $162 million, though substantially lower than the net loss of $3.6 billion recorded in the year-ago period.

Looking to consolidated results for the upcoming fiscal year, Matsushita expects consolidated sales to increase 1 percent, to $62 billion; operating profit is anticipated to rise 18 percent, to $1.2 billion; and net profit is expected to move into the black, at $249.7 million.

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