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Matsushita’s Q3 Net, Sales Increase

Osaka, Japan – Matsushita Electric Industrial’s CE and IT product division increased sales by 5 percent to $9 billion for its third quarter on strong plasma-display TVs and DVD players sales.

Matsushita’s consolidated earnings for the third quarter, ended Dec. 31, showed the company increased sales 8 percent to $15.6 billion with Japanese domestic sales rising 9 percent and overseas sales inching up 6 percent for the quarter. This enabled Matsushita to show a net income of $174 million for the quarter, up from a loss of about $1.4 billion during 2001’s third quarter.

The company’s financial report stated video and audio sales in its AVC networks segment rose 8 percent to $4.8 billion with overseas sales accounting for about $3.1 billion of the sales. Information and communications equipment sales, also part of the AVC segment, were up just 1 percent to $4.3 billion and overseas sales comprised a little over half the total, but were flat compared with the same period last year.

For the nine-month period, ended Dec. 31, sales were up 6 percent to $45 billion, compared with the same period in 2001. This resulted in a net profit of $323 million up from a net loss of about $2 billion. AVC sales for the nine-month period were up 6 percent to $26 billion. Overseas sales comprised $15.4 billion of the total.

For the quarter Matsushita’s home appliances saw sales grew 4 percent to $2.7 billion, the vast majority of which took place in the Japanese domestic market. Overseas appliance sales were up 4 percent to about $650 million for the period. The overseas gains were attributed to strong air conditioner and refrigerator sales. Home appliance sales for the nine-month portion of 2001 were up 1 percent to $7.6 billion with the overseas portion hitting the $2.1 billion mark.

Matsushita executives said the increases came despite a very sluggish Japanese domestic economy marked by slow consumer spending and war worries that are impacting the United States and European economies.

Matsushita also positively revised its forecast for its fiscal year. Despite the impact the looming war in the Middle East might have on the U.S. and other economies, the company now expects annual sales to increase 6 percent to about $61 billion with an operating profit of about $100 million. The increases would be due primarily to in-house restructuring.