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Sony Fiscal Q4 Sales In U.S. Rise 20%

5/07/2001 02:00:00 AM Eastern

TOKYO — With sales of personal computers, televisions, video/digital still cameras and DVD-Video players leading the way, Sony increased overall sales in the United States in the fiscal fourth quarter by 19.8 percent, reaching $4.6 billion, compared with the year-ago period.

For its fiscal year ending March 31, however, the percentage sales increase to the United States did not measure up to the latest three months, rising only 7.5 percent to $17.4 billion, compared with the same 12 months last year.

Sony's total audio sales for the fiscal fourth quarter increased 6.2 percent to $1.7 billion, while video sales more than doubled the audio percentage increase to 15.7 percent, or $2 billion in sales. Television sales registered a 5.7 percent rise during the quarter to $1.6 billion.

Over the fiscal year, audio sales at Sony dropped 1.2 percent to $7.4 billion, while video sales enjoyed a hefty 12.4 percent increase to $8.8 billion. Television sales jumped 12.7 percent to $6.4 billion.

Overall electronics sales worldwide for the fourth quarter jumped 22.3 percent to $11.6 billion, compared with the year-ago period. The company registered an operating loss of $71 million for its electronics segment in the fourth quarter. However, this loss was nearly three times less than the operating loss recorded in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2000.

Sony's overall electronics sales for the fiscal year climbed 17 percent to $44.2 billion, while operating income increased 145.2 percent to nearly $2 billion, compared with the previous 12 months. Profits for the year were primarily derived from video/digital still cameras and televisions.

Looking ahead to the fiscal year ending March 31, 2002, Sony expects overall sales in its electronics segment to increase due to intensive introduction of high-value-added digital equipment, suitable for network environments. The company also expects sales to climb in PCs, mobile phones, televisions, digital still cameras, DVD-Video players and LCDs. Due primarily to severe price competition, Sony expects operating income to decrease during the year.

Overall game sales for the fiscal year were relatively flat, increasing less than 1 percent to $5.3 billion, compared with the previous year.

Overall sales to the United States, however, grew due to an increase of hardware sales reflecting the introductions of PlayStation1 in September 2000 and PlayStation2 in October 2000. Software sales decreased.

At the same time, Sony reported an overall operating loss for its game segment of $409 million, compared with the previous 12 months. The company cited the aforementioned overall sales weakness, especially in software, and start-up expenses for the PlayStation2 format, as well as the negative impact of the yen's strength against the U.S. dollar.

In the current fiscal year, Sony intends to achieve production shipments of 20 million units of PlayStation2 and more than 10 million units of PlayStation1. Regarding software, the amount of sales is expected to increase primarily because of greater hardware penetration of PlayStation2 and an increase in the number of successful software titles for the unit.

Sony's overall fiscal 2001 sales climbed 9.4 percent to $58.5 billion, compared with the previous year, while operating income rose just 1 percent to $1.8 billion. Net income dropped 86.2 percent to $134 million, compared with year-ago 12 months. Overall game sales for the fiscal year were relatively flat, increasing less than 1 percent to $5.3 billion, compared with the previous year.

Overall sales to the United States, however, grew due to an increase of hardware sales reflecting the introductions of PlayStation1 in September 2000 and PlayStation2 in October 2000. Software sales decreased.

At the same time, Sony reported an overall operating loss for its game segment of $409 million, compared with the previous 12 months. The company cited the aforementioned overall sales weakness, especially in software, and start-up expenses for the PlayStation2 format, as well as the negative impact of the yen's strength against the U.S. dollar.

In the current fiscal year, Sony intends to achieve production shipments of 20 million units of PlayStation2 and over 10 million units of PlayStation1. Regarding software, the amount of sales is expected to increase primarily because of greater hardware penetration of PlayStation2 and an increase in the number of successful software titles for the unit.

Sony's overall fiscal 2001 sales climbed 9.4 percent to $58.5 billion, compared with the previous year, while operating income rose just 1 percent to $1.8 billion. Net income dropped 86.2 percent to $134 million, compared with year-ago 12 months.

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