San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
Tokyo — Matsushita Electric Industrial said its North American business, Matsushita Electric Corp. of America, should hit $8.2 billion in sales for the fiscal year ending March 2003. "Growth products have created a mountain of sales," said Don Iwatani, the North American unit's chairman/CEO, about such Panasonic products as plasma televisions, liquid-crystal display flat-screen televisions, DVD recorders and SD products. Matsushita also said it expects to increase sales in North America by 22 percent, to $10 billion, by March 2005. "In pushing toward our 10, 10, 10 goal, we should increase sales every year by 10 percent through fiscal 2004," said Iwatani, who, despite an uncertain economic outlook in the United States, emphasized that demand for CE products has been strong. In its fiscal year ended last March, Matsushita America contributed 16 percent of its parent's overall revenue.
El Segundo, Calif. — Digital television satellite provider Hughes Electronics raised its third-quarter guidance figures for its DirecTV U.S. business. Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) were lifted to about $195 million, from prior guidance of about $150 million. The increase was due to continued success with reducing the company's cost structure, improved monthly subscriber revenue and lower marketing costs associated with the reduced subscriber projection, said Hughes. The company lowered its subscriber guidance for the third quarter to a range of 200,000 to 210,000 net additions, compared with a prior range of 250,000 to 300,000. The reduction primarily is due to higher than expected monthly churn of about 1.7 percent, which Hughes believes is related to the replacement of DirecTV's older generation access cards. Third quarter revenue guidance for the DirecTV U.S. business remains unchanged at about $1.6 billion.