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Matsushita CE Segment Sales Rise 1%, Profit Soars

Osaka, Japan — Despite declines in sales of audio equipment, increasing sales of digital A/V products, both domestically and overseas, helped increase overall fiscal first-quarter business in the AVC networks segment at Matsushita Electric Industrial by 1 percent, hitting $7.7 billion, up from $7.5 billion in the first three months of last year.

The company said the segment increase for the quarter ended June 30 was due mainly to favorable sales of flat-panel TVs and digital cameras. AVC networks include CE products such as video, audio and cellphones.

The video and audio business part of the overall AVC networks segment was flat, with first-quarter sales coming in at $3.1 billion. However, the information and communications part of the AVC networks segment recorded a 2 percent first sales rise, reaching $4.6 billion, compared with a year-ago $4.4 billion. Matsushita said overseas sales of cellphones were down, while PCs and automotive electronics had a 2 percent increase overall.

AVC networks segment profit soared 65 percent in the first quarter, hitting $258 million, up from a year-over-year $153.1 million

Although Matsushita, maker of Panasonic-brand CE products, cited sales gains in digital A/V products, sales declines in semiconductors and general components, pushed consolidated first-quarter sales down 3 percent to $18.6 billion, compared with $18.7 billion in the first three months of last year. Overseas sales dropped 6 percent, reaching $8.9 billion, compared with a year-on-year $9.3 billion.

Negative factors in the first quarter, such as the sales slump, intensified global pricing competition and increased raw materials costs, were more than offset by cost reduction efforts, resulting in a consolidated 6 percent rise in operating profit, to $418 million, from $386.9 million in the first three months of last year. Net profit jumped by 2 percent, hitting $304 million in the first quarter, compared with a year-ago $292.1 million.