By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Matsushita Electric Industrial reported a 5 percent rise in quarterly profit, citing robust sales of its Panasonic brand flat-panel TVs, digital cameras and air conditioners.
Net profit during the third quarter rose 60 percent on a quarterly sales increase of 1.6 percent to $20.2 billion, the company's highest third-quarter sales ever.
Matsushita's group net profit during the quarter was $651 million, up dramatically from the same period a year ago.
"We enjoyed strong sales of plasma TVs and digital cameras, which drove our overall revenue," executive VP Tetsuya Kawakami said.
Matsushita reiterated plans to spend $2.3 billion to build the world's largest plasma-display factory, doubling the capacity of its existing plants. The first phase is due to be operational this summer.
Based on strong demand for plasma TVs and digital cameras, Matsushita raised its profit forecast for the fiscal year through March to $1.7 billion from the earlier forecast of $1.6 billion. Matsushita also revised upward its guidance for full-year sales to $74.5 billion from $74 billion.
A weak yen, which boosts the overseas earnings of exporters like Matsushita, is also expected to help annual earnings, the company said in a statement.
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