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Three Japanese companies reporting fiscal year-end sales results for their consumer electronics businesses posted mixed results. Sharp enjoyed strong increases, while Pioneer recorded flat figures and Mitsubishi saw declines in the 12-month period, ended March 31.
Although sales of existing products, such as LCD camcorders and VCRs stagnated at Osaka, Japan-based Sharp, LCD color televisions and mobile phones with cameras had significant sales increases in the fiscal year just ended. This led to audio/video and communication-equipment sales of $6.2 billion, up 13.8 percent from the $5.5 billion reported year-on-year.
LCD color televisions larger than 10 inches enjoyed a 95.2 percent sales increase in the fiscal year, reaching $740 million, while mobile phones jumped 54.2 percent during the same period, to $2 billion. LCD color TV over 10 inches is expected to do $1.1 billion in sales in the fiscal year, ending March 31, 2004, up another 46.2 percent. Mobile phones should climb an additional 11.1 percent in 2004, to $2.2 billion.
Consolidated Sharp sales for the fiscal year hit $16.7 billion, an 11.1 increase over the $15 billion reported year over year. Consolidated net income nearly tripled in the 12 months, to $271.3 million, from $94.2 million in the year-ago period.
Pioneer posted generally flat overseas sales of consumer electronics for its fiscal year, with a large increase in plasma display sales being offset by falling sales of digital set-top boxes and compact stereo systems.
Overseas CE segment sales hit $1.30 billion for the year, down less than 1 percent from a year-ago $1.31 billion. This segment includes home A/V equipment, equipment for cable TV systems, digital broadcast set-top boxes and home phones.
Overall annual Pioneer CE segment sales, however, climbed 6.2 percent, reaching $1.9 billion, up from $1.8 billion in the preceding 12 months.
Operating income for the Tokyo-based company's CE segment came in at $3.2 million for the year, moving into the black, compared with a year-on-year operating loss of $90.1 million.
In its car electronics segment, Pioneer recorded an 8.2 percent increase in annual overseas sales, to $1.5 billion, from $1.4 billion. The rise was due primarily to growing sales of car CD players, as well as growth of car audio products to manufacturers in North America.
Overall auto segment sales for the 12 months jumped 9.1 percent, hitting $2.3 billion, compared with $2.2 billion in the previous period.
Operating income for the car segment for the year soared 62.6 percent, to $217.8 million, up from $134 million year over year.
Pioneer sales to North America also remained flat year over year, with totals reaching $1.70 billion, compared with $1.69 billion. Operating revenue to North America for the year moved up 4.3 percent, reaching $97.9 million, compared with $93.9 million in the previous 12 months.
In reporting its consolidated yearly business, Pioneer said revenue increased 7.6 percent, hitting $6 billion, up from $5.5 billion the previous period. Operating income rose 68.6 percent, to $299 million, up from $177.4 million year-on-year. Net income nearly doubled, to $134 million, up from $67.1 million in the year-ago 12 months.
Mitsubishi Electric recorded a 2 percent decline in CE sales for the fiscal year, coming in at $3.8 billion, compared with $3.9 billion in the same 12 months a year earlier. The Tokyo-based company's operating loss in its electronic devices home segment declined to $441.8 million, down from a year-earlier operating loss of $670.6 million.
Mitsubishi sales to North America dipped 8 percent in the fiscal year, hitting $2.5 billion, down from $2.7 billion year-on-year. However, the company enjoyed a fiscal-year operating profit of $30.2 million in North America, compared with a year-ago operating loss of $150.6 million.
Consolidated net sales at Mitsubishi dipped slightly, to $30.3 billion during the year, down from $30.4 billion a year ago. The company reduced its net loss to $98.2 million in the 12 months, compared with a net loss of $648.5 million a year earlier.