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DVD Sales Help Pioneer In Fiscal Q2

TOKYO -Spurred by healthy sales of DVD-related products, Pioneer Corp. reported a 4.5 percent rise in sales for the fiscal second quarter ended Sept. 30, compared to the year-ago second quarter. The sales increase would have been 11 percent, Pioneer said, if there had been no rise in the yen.

This year’s second-quarter group net profit climbed to $31.5 million, while cost-cutting helped operating profit rise nearly 30 percent to $56.4 million.

Pioneer said it returned to profitability for the fiscal six months ended Sept. 30 and recorded a first-half group net profit of $57.5 million, compared to a $17.6 million loss in the year-ago six months.

For the full year ending March 30, 2001, Pioneer raised its earnings estimate for consolidated net profit to $166 million, from an earlier estimate of $138 million. The company reported a profit of $120 million for the previous fiscal year.

In support of growing DVD sales, Pioneer said, it will spend $91.9 million to build two plants in China where DVD players and computer DVD-ROM drives will be manufactured. Production start-up is scheduled for October 2001.