By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Growing fiscal third quarter sales of plasma televisions and optical storage products at Hitachi pushed sales in the company's digital media and consumer products segment to $2.6 billion, a 1 percent increase over the $2.5 billion reported in the previous year. Higher demand for lithium-ion batteries used in mobile phones and other rechargeable batteries made by Hitachi Maxell also helped boost sales in the segment.
The digital media segment reported operating income of $23 million for the third quarter, 336 percent higher than the $5.2 million reported in the previous year. The higher earnings reflect a strong performance in recordable DVD discs, and a return to profitability in rechargeable batteries at Hitachi Maxell, the company said.
For the nine months, digital media sales increased 2 percent, to $7.5 billion, up from $7.4 billion in the same period in 2001. Operating income for the nine months was $71 million, compared with a loss of $44.8 million year over year.
Sales in North America climbed 3 percent in the third quarter, hitting $2 billion, up from $1.95 billion in the same three months the previous year. For the nine months, sales in North America dropped 2 percent, to $5.6 billion, down from $5.7 billion in the same period in 2001.
With the outlook for the U.S. economy becoming increasingly uncertain and demand in Japan languishing, Hitachi still was able to push up consolidated third quarter sales 5 percent, to $16 billion, compared with $15.3 billion year over year. Operating income was $107 million in the three months, reversing a loss of $576.2 million in the previous year's third quarter. Net income came in at $11 million, reversing a loss of $963.3 million in the same three months in 2001.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.