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Alpine Swings To Black But Forecasts Tough Fiscal 2012

Iwate, Japan –
Alpine increased sales and swung into the black for its fiscal year ending
March, reversing two consecutive years of net losses and three consecutive
years of sales declines.

Alpine posted a
net profit of 6 billion yen ($73.8 million), compared with the previous year’s
net loss of 1.25 billion yen ($14.8 million) and a 2009 net loss of $115.3
million, calculated at an exchange rate of approximately 80 yen to the dollar.

Because of the
aftereffects of the country’s recent disasters and other factors, however,
Alpine forecast declining sales and profits in the current fiscal year.

For the fiscal
year that just ended, Alpine’s OEM and aftermarket car electronics sales grew
19.4 percent to 201.2 billion yen ($2.48 billion), and operating income hit 11.1
billion yen ($136.8 million), compared with the previous year’s 0.2 billion yen
($2.5 million). Income would have been higher had it not been for an
extraordinary loss of 1.5 billion yen ($18.4 million) resulting from the recent
twin disasters.

For the current
fiscal year ending March 2012, Alpine forecast net sales to decline 5.6
percent, operating income to drop 55 .2 percent, and net income to drop 42

 The Japanese economy, higher prices for raw
material, a strong yen and losses from the recent earthquake “have rendered the
outlook for the business climate that much harsher,” the company said. “In
addition to problems in the supply of components and material procurements due
to severed supply lines, with the assumed imposition of energy-saving measures
during the summer hitting production lines, and lower sales on restraint in
propensity for consumption, we forecast that the situation will be harsh for
both the audio products segment and the information and communication equipment

For the just-ended
year, the information and communications segment, including OEM and aftermarket
navigation, increased sales 33.9 percent to 131.3 billion yen. Sales of
aftermarket and OEM car audio products fell 0.8 percent to 69.8 billion yen.

In audio,
intensified price competition contributed to flat sales of aftermarket head
units such as CD players, the company said. Sales of affordably priced CD
players were firm in the North American market, “but amid users’ greater
appetite for low prices, high-added-value products, such as head units that can
be linked to Pandora Internet radio via smartphones, experienced harsh selling

 Sales of OEM audio products to automobile
manufacturers “increased in line with recovering production and sales in Europe
and the United States of new automobiles by major customers, as well as robust
demand in the Chinese market,” Alpine said.

In the information
and communication segment, the company said sales of affordably priced
navigation systems in North America “were strong, thanks to customer
appreciation of the superior functionality, despite being affected by
increasingly severe price competition,” the company said. In the segment’s OEM
business, installation rates of in-cabin display products boosted unit sales,
the company added. OEM was also boosted by “a continuing recovery in production
and sales of large and high-end vehicles in North America, which have high
installation rates for highly functional products such as navigation systems.”