Alpine Posts First-Half Sales, Profit Declines - Twice

Alpine Posts First-Half Sales, Profit Declines

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Iwaki, Japan - Alpine Electronics sales, operating profits and net profits fell in the company's fiscal first half.

The company blamed a sharp rise in material costs, the prolonged appreciation of the Japanese yen, increased competition and the world's economic problems, the company said.

The automotive electronics company also cited decreased production by automakers early in the fiscal year resulting from the Japan earthquake.

For the six-month period ending Sept. 30, consolidated net sales fell 3 percent to 95.1 billion yen (1.22 billion), operating income fell 55.2 percent to 3.1 billion yen ($39.9 million), and net income fell 55.5 percent to 2.2 billion yen ($28.3 million).

Currency conversions are based on a rate of 77.8 yen to the dollar.

Alpine also revised down earlier forecasts for its full fiscal year ending March 2012, citing "the recent sharp rises in the prices of materials and strong yen exchange rate. "

The company said it was unclear whether the flooding in Thailand will affect Alpine's materials procurement.

Although the company's sales forecast went unchanged at 190 billion yen ($2.44 billion), projected operating income was revised down to 3.7 billion yen ($47.6 million) from 5 billion yen, and net income was revised down to 2.5 billion yen ($32.2 million) from 3.5 billion yen.

With the revisions, Alpine projects full-year net sales will be down 5.6 percent from the year-ago period, operating income will be down 66.8 percent, and net income will be down 58.5 percent.

First-half audio products sales (OEM and aftermarket combined) were down 21.4 percent to 27.1 billion yen ($348.6 million) in part because of automakers' decreased production earlier in the year following the earthquake. The company also cited "severe" sales of aftermarket head units, mainly CD players, in the U.S. and Europe, although sales of high-quality speakers and amplifiers in Japan and Europe were "robust."

Sales in the company's information and communications segment rose 7 percent to 67.9 billion yen, including OEM and aftermarket navigation and display systems.

In the previous fiscal year, ended March 31, 2011,

Alpine returned to the black

on rising sales.

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