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Alpine Returns To Black For Fiscal Year

Iwaki, Japan – Alpine returned to the black in its 2011
fiscal year, posting better-than-forecast sales and profits for the 12 months
ending March 31.

For its 2012 fiscal year, the OEM and aftermarket car
electronics supplier forecasts a single-digit sales decline and double-digit
declines in operating and net profits, but the company will remain in the

 Alpine attributed its
2012 outlook largely to a shrinking Japan economy, the earthquake’s severing of
supply lines, and the government’s expected imposition of energy-savings
measures in the summer, hurting production in factories supplying the domestic
market, Alpine said.

For the fiscal year that just ended, however, Alpine posted
a 19.4 percent gain in consolidated net sales to 201.2 billion yen ($2.47 billion),
thanks in part to stepped-up sales efforts in China and increases in
new-vehicle sales outside the Japan market. Operating income rose 486 percent
from the previous year’s 226 million yen to 11.2 billion yen ($137.7 million).
And the company posted net income of 6.03 billion yen ($74.2 million) compared
to a year-ago net loss of 1.25 billion yen ($15.4 million), which had been
caused by such extraordinary losses as restructuring, product-warranty
expenses, and investment losses.

  Net income in 2011 would
have been slightly higher than the posted 6.03 billion yen ($74.2 million) had
it not been for an extraordinary loss of 1.6 billion yen ($19.7 million) caused
by the earthquake, Alpine said. The earthquake damaged the company’s
headquarters, other buildings and production equipment, though no lives were
lost. Production resumed March 28.

  For 2012, Alpine
forecasts a 5.6 percent decline in net sales, a 55.2 percent drop in operating
income, and a 42 percent drop in net income. 

 In the current year,
sales of car audio products (OEM and aftermarket combined) slipped 0.8 percent
to 69.9 million yen, while sales of car information and communications
equipment (including navigation) rose 33.9 percent to 131.4 million yen.

 In audio, sales of
OEM products to car makers increased in line with recovering production in the
U.S. and Europe and because of “robust demand” in China, the company said.
However, in the North American aftermarket, as a result of “users’ greater
appetite for low prices,” sales of high-added-value products, including head
units that control a smartphone’s Pandora Radio app, “experienced harsh selling
conditions,” the company said.

 Sales of the
company’s affordably priced navigation systems newly launched in the North
American aftermarket were “strong” despite “being affected by increasingly
severe price competition,” Alpine added.