Matsushita Reports Modest 3Q Earnings

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Matsushita reported a modest increase in consolidated fiscal-third-quarter operating earnings and lower results for its first nine months, as sales, impacted by the higher value of the yen, were down for both periods.

For the three months to December 31 the Japanese giant said operating earnings rose 6% to $533 million, while net, after a one-time net gain on an asset sale, tripled to $595 million. Sales, at $18.3 billion, were off 4%. Nine-month net climbed fourfold to $929 million, though operating profit, at $1.17 billion, was down 14%. Sales were off 6% to $53.5 billion.

For the quarter, A/V equipment sales dropped 11% to $4.74 billion, as a drop in domestic demand for TVs and VCRs and the unfavorable foreign exchange rate offset the effect of increased overseas sales. For the full period, A/V sales were down 12% to just less than $13 billion.

For both periods, sales of industrial equipment and components increased, but sales of appliances and communications equipment declined.

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