OSAKA, JAPAN -Overseas sales of video and audio equipment at Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., which include the United States-boosted by strong movement of televisions and DVD players-reached $2.8 billion in the fiscal third quarter, a 2 percent increase over the same quarter last year.
Overall sales of consumer products at Matsushita climbed 4 percent during the fiscal third quarter ended Dec. 31, reaching $7.6 billion, compared with $7.3 billion in the year-ago three months. Video and audio equipment sales, within this category, climbed 6 percent to $4.5 billion, compared with $4.2 billion in the same quarter in 1999.
Sales of home appliances and household equipment sold overseas in the third quarter grew steadily, hitting an 8 percent gain, to $642 million.
Overseas sales of video and audio equipment for the nine months were flat, coming in at $7.6 billion. Overall sales of video and audio equipment, however, increased 2 percent for the nine months, reaching $11.7 billion, compared with $11.5 billion in the same nine months in 1999.
Matsushita has revised downward its annual forecast for consolidated sales and earnings, made last Oct. 30. Due to recent setbacks in the global personal computer and cellular phone industries, the company said annual consolidated sales should increase 4 percent to $65.7 billion, compared with the earlier forecast of $66.3 billion.
Annual consolidated operating profit is now forecast to increase 38 percent from the previous year to about $1.7 billion, down from the October forecast of $2.3 billion. Net income for the year will be down 48 percent from the previous year to $452 million, instead of the $887 million predicted last October.
Consolidated group net sales at Matsushita for the third quarter climbed 7 percent to $17.3 billion, compared with $16.2 billion in the year-ago three months. Overseas sales grew 3 percent in the third quarter to $8.2 billion, up from $7.9 billion in the same quarter in 1999.
Although price competition continued to negatively affect results, manufacturing cost reductions and sales gains contributed to a 9 percent increase in third-quarter operating profit. This reached $516 million during the three months, up from $472 million in third-quarter 1999. Net income was down 38 percent to $198 million.
For the nine months, consolidated group net sales jumped 5 percent to $49.8 billion, compared with $47.5 billion in the year-ago nine months. Operating profit for the nine months soared 33 percent to $1.4 billion, up from $1 billion the previous year. Net income was off 78 percent, dropping to $654 million.
In other news, Matsushita Electric and its subsidiary Matsushita Battery Industrial, have entered an agreement with Eindhoven, Netherlands-based Koninklijke Philips Electronics and Philips Lighting BV. Philips will sell its 50 percent ownership of its battery-manufacturing joint ventures in Belgium and Poland to Matsushita Battery, its joint-venture partner. Selling price is $39.1 million. The agreement is subject to regulatory approvals.