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Matsushita Says CE Sales Down 3% In Fiscal Q2

The coupling of stagnated growth in the United States and a severe overall business environment that persisted through its fiscal first quarter led to a 3 percent decline in AVC Networks segment sales at Matsushita Electric Industrial.

This category for Matsushita, marketers of the Panasonic brand, includes both video, audio information and communications equipment. The unit posted $7 billion in sales for the three months, ended June 30, down from $7.2 billion in the year-ago period.

Within the AVC Networks category, sales of video and audio equipment decreased 8 percent in the first three months, due mainly to sales declines in CRT televisions and audio equipment and despite continued strong sales in flat-screen TVs and DVD recorders. Sales hit $2.6 billion, down from $2.9 billion.

The information and communications equipment group, within the AVC Networks category, reported brisk sales of automotive electronics and solid overseas sales of cellular phones. But overall sales were $4.38 billion for the three months, virtually flat with the $4.36 billion posted for the same quarter last year.

Following a change in business segment classifications to five new segments earlier this year, in order to ensure consistency of financial disclosure, business segment information for the first quarter of 2002 was restated. In this case, first quarter 2003 sales for the AVC Networks segment were $7.3 billion, down 2 percent from the $7.5 billion reported in the same quarter in 2002.

AVC Networks restated segment profit, however, jumped 29 percent in the first three months, to $134 million, up from $104.2 million year over year.

Consolidated Matsushita sales in the first three months decreased 2 percent, hitting $14.7 billion, vs. the year-ago period. Consolidated operating profit climbed 27 percent in the first quarter, reaching $167 million, compared with $131 million in the same quarter a year earlier.