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Matsushita, JVC, Toshiba, Logitech Report Financials

New York — Matsushita, JVC, Toshiba and Logitech all issued their quarterly and/or fiscal first half financial statements during the past 24 hours.

Matsushita Electric Industrial, worldwide marketer of the Panasonic brand, reported a 17 percent decrease in net income for its fiscal second quarter, ended Sept. 30, due in part to restructuring, among other factors.

Matsushita reported net income of $572 million on consolidated group sales of $19.88 billion for the quarter, an increase of 1 percent. The CE manufacturer cited sales gains in all product categories except JVC and its subsidiaries. (See below.)

The company said it faced “severe business conditions in Japan and overseas” due to rising crude oil and other raw material costs and “continued price declines” in digital products. Other expenses that affected its bottom line were the implementation of early retirement programs as it restructures.

By category, AVC Networks’ sales increase 8 percent to $16.7 billion with an increase in audio and video equipment rising 6 percent from the previous year’s first half, due mainly to gains in flat-panel TVs and digital cameras. Car electronics and mobile phones were up 10 percent vs. the previous year’s first half.

JVC, Victor Company of Japan, which has set up a joint venture with Kenwood to develop car, home and portable audio products earlier this year as a possible prelude to a full merger in 2008, reported lower sales and a deeper loss in its fiscal first half, ended Sept. 30.

Total sales for the half were $2.87 billion, down 11 percent from $3.23 billion, while JVC reported a net loss of $365.7 million for the half vs. a $43.7 million net income for the first half of last year. In consumer electronics, sales were $2.09 billion, down from $2.37 billion.

JVC said its restructuring continues, but sales of “mainstay consumer electronics” were sluggish in its fiscal second quarter. While LCD TV sales performed “fairly well,” sales of CRT TVs and D-ILA rear-projection TVs were down. Audio and camcorder sales “struggled somewhat,” the manufacturer reported.

Toshiba reported a 17 percent gain in net sales, to $32.1 billion, in its fiscal first half compared with the same time last year, and net income increased more than seven times that of last year’s first half, to $397 million.

Digital products — which includes PC, CE categories HDTV and HD DVD, mobile phone and business products — posted a 9 percent gain in sales to $12.5 billion and reversed last year’s loss to a $2.6 million operating profit. The company noted that TVs still had to “bear the brunt of fast declining sales prices, particularly in the U.S. and Europe.”

Logitech International, based in Switzerland with operations in Fremont, Calif., reported final financial results for the second quarter of fiscal year 2008, updating the Oct. 17, 2007 announcement.

The company recorded an impairment loss of $67.4 million on the value of its short-term investment portfolio as of Sept. 30, 2007. As a result, net income for its fiscal second quarter was $12 million. Excluding this charge, non-GAAP net income for the quarter was $79 million compared with $49 million in last year’s fiscal second quarter.