Alpine Posts Profit Drop In 2012

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Iwaki, Japan - Alpine Electronics ended fiscal 2012 with a sales gain of 0.8 percent to 202.9 billion yen ($2.53 billion), a 49.4 percent decline in operating income to 11.2 billion yen ($139.6 million), and a 24.2 percent decline in net income to 4.6 billion yen ($57.3 million).

 The year, however, marked the company's second consecutive fiscal year in the black, and Alpine forecast that its current 2013 fiscal year will also be profitable. For fiscal 2013, the company forecasts an 8.4 percent gain in sales, a 6.2 percent gain in operating income, and a 9.4 percent increase in net income.

   The results for the fiscal year ending March 2012 exceeded a full-year forecast made by the company in January, when it said full-year sales would hit 200 billion yen, operating income would hit 5 billion yen, and net income would hit 3 billion yen. The company said it exceeded full-year sales forecasts because of a better-than-expected fourth-quarter sales, which it attributed to car navigation system sales in Japan and sales to European automakers.

  Profits exceeded forecast in 2012 because of the sales increase, the elimination of foreign exchange losses "by a sudden reversed trend toward yen devaluation," and extraordinary income that took the form of an earthquake disaster reconstruction subsidy, the company said.

  Breaking down 2012 sales by segment, the company said its OEM and aftermarket car audio sales fell 20.2 percent to 55.7 billion yen, largely because automaker customers decreased production due to the Great East Japan Earthquake and flooding in Thailand.  Nonetheless, sales in the information and communications segment, consisting of OEM display systems and OEM and aftermarket navigation, rose 12 percent to 147.1 billion yen.

 In aftermarket autosound, "sales of head units, chiefly CD players, were marred in the Japanese, European and U.S. markets by intensified price competition," the company said.

 In the North American market in fiscal 2013, the company said it would make inroads with its Big X car navigation system with an 8-inch display and its Perfect Fit factory-look installation kits for the system. Alpine also said it would focus on expanding sales of an in-car infotainment system based on the new MirrorLink smartphone-connectivity. The company also plans to make proposals to automakers for products "designed to help make drivers feel safer and more secure, such as in-car cameras and displays, which are expected to be installed in a higher proportion of vehicles."

Currency conversions were base on a rate of 80.3 yen to the U.S. dollar.


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