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Sony Q4 Electronics Segment Sales Off 7.3%

4/25/2002 03:01:00 PM Eastern

Tokyo - Although Sony's sales of televisions increased by 17.3 percent in the company's fourth fiscal quarter, ended March 31, sales to customers in its overall electronics category declined 7.3 percent for the three months.

Television sales reached $1.5 billion for the fourth quarter, up from $1.2 billion in the year-ago period, but overall electronics sales to customers hit $8.8 billion, down from $9.5 billion in the same quarter a year ago.

In its other electronics categories, audio dropped 17.3 percent, to $1.1 billion, down from $1.4 billion in the same period last year. Video dipped 5 percent, reaching $1.18 billion, compared with $1.25 billion in the year-ago three months.

For the fiscal year, also ended March 31, Sony's sales of televisions rose 6.3 percent, to $5.6 billion, up from $5.3 billion year over year. Audio in the year edged downward 1.2 percent, to $5.62 billion, from $5.69 billion the past year. Video edged upward 1.9 percent, reaching $6.1 billion for the 12 months, compared with $6 billion in the year-ago period.

Overall Electronics sales to customers dropped 4.1 percent in the fiscal year, hitting $36 billion, down from $37.6 billion in the previous 12 months.

The operating loss for Electronics in the fourth quarter hit $399 million, compared with an operating loss of $69.3 million year over year.

For the year, the Electronics operating loss - affected by a worldwide drop in market prices; $639.1 million in restructuring charges, including Aiwa; and losses in mobile handsets, among others - reached $62 million, compared with operating income of $1.9 billion in the previous 12 months.

Sony's Game business, on the other hand, enjoyed strong demand for PlayStation 2, which saw a 8.87-million-unit worldwide shipment increase for the 12 months, to 18.07 million units.

In the fourth quarter, Games sales to customers climbed 16.9 percent, to $1.6 billion, up from $1.4 billion in the year-ago three months. Operating income for the quarter was $117 million, up from an operating loss of $122 million in the same quarter a year ago.

For the year, the Games segment saw sales to customers soar 52.7 percent, hitting $7.4 billion, up from $4.9 billion year over year. Games operating income for the 12 months reached $623 million, compared with an operating loss of $384.2 million in the previous year.

Sony's fourth-quarter sales to the United States dipped 0.9 percent, to $4.33 billion, down from $4.36 billion in the same three months in 2001. However, for the year, sales to the United States climbed 12.9 percent, hitting $18.5 billion, up from $16.4 billion in the previous year.

Overall fourth-quarter sales dropped 2.3 percent, to $14.2 billion, compared with $14.5 billion in the same quarter in 2001. Sony reported an operating loss of $177 million for the fourth quarter, up from a loss of $23.7 million year over year. The net loss for the three months was $41 million, compared with net income of $118.5 million in the same quarter in 2001.

Overall Sony sales for the fiscal year rose 3.6 percent, to $57 billion, up from $55 billion in the year-ago period. Operating income for the year, however, declined 40.3 percent, to $1 billion, down from $1.7 billion the previous year. Net income was off 8.6 percent for the 12 months, sliding to $115 million, compared with $126.3 million year over year.

Looking ahead, Sony expects sales for its next fiscal year, ending in March of 2003, to rise 6 percent, to $60 billion. It anticipates a 108 percent increase in operating income, to $2.1 billion. Net income, said Sony, should soar 880 percent, to $1.1 billion.

Sony expects to invest $2.1 billion in capital expenditures in the coming fiscal year, a 14 percent decrease year over year.