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Matsushita Posts Gains In Q1

Osaka, Japan — Matsushita Electric Industrial saw global consolidated group sales of $18.21 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2008, ended June 30, an 8 percent increase from the same period the previous year.

With the exception of the JVC division, the company reported sales gains in all product categories.

Matsushita’s operating profit rose 13 percent to $601 million compared with the same quarter last year. It attributed the improvement to “sales gains, comprehensive cost reduction efforts and a weaker yen.”

In all, the company saw a pretax income of $683 million for the quarter, up 11 percent from the same period in fiscal 2007. Its net income also increased 10 percent to $320 million.

Matsushita’s AVC networks division saw sales increase 5 percent to $7.52 billion compared with the same prior-year period. The company cited a 2 percent increase in sales of video and audio equipment over the previous year and it also noted sales gains in flat-panel TVs, digital cameras and DVD recorders.

Additionally, the division saw a 7 percent increase in sales of information and communications equipment which it primarily attributed to “strong sales in automotive electronics equipment.”

In home appliances, the company reported a sales increase of 10 percent to $2.76 billion compared with the previous year. The increase was credited to sales gains in air conditioners and compressors and microwave ovens.

Finally, Matsushita’s JVC subsidiary’s sales decreased 10 percent to $1.10 billion compared with a year ago. “Sluggish sales of A/V equipment” were blamed for the decline. It was announced earlier this week that Kenwood Corp. of Japan will partner with JVC on a joint project in car, home and portable audio this October, and that the companies are discussing the possibility a merger under a holding company.