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Matsushita's Fiscal Q3 CE Sales Dip 6%

3/11/2002 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Sales in AVC Networks — primarily Matsushita Electric Industrial's consumer electronics, computer products, software and phone product category — declined 6 percent in the fiscal third quarter, hitting $7.9 billion, down from $8.4 billion in the year-ago period.

The total AVC Networks product category registered an operating loss of $141 million in the three months, compared with a $218 million profit in the same quarter in 2000.

Within the AVC Networks segment, sales of video and audio equipment climbed 4 percent, to $4.1 billion in the third quarter, ended Dec. 31, up from $3.9 billion year over year. The increase was a result of solid overseas sales of televisions and DVD players and discs, which offset sales declines in VCRs, said the giant electronics manufacturer.

For the nine months, sales of video and audio equipment reached $10.4 billion, a 2 percent rise over the $10.2 billion reported in the same nine months in 2000.

Matsushita reported sales of car A/V equipment and CD-R/RW drives roses steadily in the third quarter, thanks to overseas growth. The company registered sales declines in cellular phones and hard disk drives, leading to an overall 14 percent drop in its information and communications equipment segment.

Overseas sales at Matsushita were about flat, registering $7.07 billion in the third quarter of 2001, compared with $7.10 billion in the same three months the previous year. Overseas sales for the nine months dipped 4 percent to $20.2 billion, down from $21.1 billion year over year.

Overseas sales of video and audio equipment in the third quarter hit $2.7 billion. For the nine months, the video and audio equipment overseas sales figure reached $7.1 billion.

For the nine months, the AVC Networks segment accounted for $22.6 billion in sales, down 6 percent from the $24 billion notched in the year-ago period. The segment's operating loss for the nine months was $385 million, compared with a profit of $533 million in the year-ago nine months.

Consolidated Matsushita sales in the third quarter hit $13.2 billion, down 13 percent from the $15.1 billion registered in the same quarter in 2000. The company reported a consolidated net loss of $1.3 billion in the third quarter, compared with a $172.6 million profit year over year.

For the nine months, consolidated sales declined 9 percent, to $38.8 billion, down from $43.4 billion in the same period the previous year. Matsushita reported a consolidated net loss of $1.8 billion for the nine months, compared with income of $561.8 million year over year.

Matsushita, which blamed the global electronics slump and over-capacity in the electronics industry for lower sales in the quarter, now expects to report a net loss of $3.3 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2002, up from its earlier forecast of $2 billion.

The sales forecast for the fiscal year, ending in March, remained the same, at $51 billion, down 11 percent from the previous fiscal year.