Aiwa's Audio Sales Slump 15.6% In Fiscal Year While Video Grows

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TOKYO — Sales of audio products at Aiwa — by far the company's largest product segment — dropped 15.6 percent in fiscal 2001, hitting $1.8 billion, compared with fiscal 2000. The audio product share of total sales decreased to 78.3 percent this past fiscal year, compared with an 82.8 percent share the previous year.

Sales of video products were on the upswing in the past fiscal year, climbing 17.3 percent to $462.8 million, compared with the previous 12 months. Share of total sales for the video segment increased to 19.6 percent, up from 14.9 percent in the previous fiscal year.

Aiwa sales to the Americas decreased 9.1 percent in fiscal 2001, but this geographic area remained the company's largest mover of consumer electronics products, with $950.5 million in sales. The Americas accounted for 40.2 percent of sales in the past fiscal year, compared with a 39.5 percent share a year ago.

Overall sales for Aiwa in the past fiscal year dropped 10.7 percent, down to $2.4 billion, compared with the previous 12 months. The company increased its operating loss more than fivefold to $163.2 million. Net loss increased to $314.9 million.

Aiwa has taken a number of steps to ensure a return to profitability, among these the closing of all its manufacturing plants in Japan this year. (TWICE, April 2, p. 1.)

Looking at product development, Aiwa said it is reviewing medium- and small-size TVs in every market in order to eliminate unprofitable models. The company sales plan calls for half the TVs this fiscal year than last.

It also is reviewing the profitability of all A/V models, including mini-component systems, A/V receivers and CD radio cassette recorders, primarily to reduce the number of low-price and unprofitable products to focus on higher-profit items.

Aiwa expects revenue this current fiscal year to decline about 20 percent from the previous 12 months.

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