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Mitsubishi CE Sales Grow 6%

Tokyo — The release of a new DVD recorder, tempered by lower sales of CRT color televisions, played a part in a 6 percent sales increase for the home appliance business at Mitsubishi Electric in the company’s fiscal first quarter.

Mitsubishi’s home appliances segment, which includes consumer electronics products, came in at $1.9 billion in the first quarter, up from $1.8 billion year-on-year. The segment’s first-quarter operating income climbed to $93.7 million, compared with $44.3 million in the year-ago period.

Sales in the company’s information and communication systems segment, which includes mobile handset revenue, decreased 23 percent in the first quarter, ended June 30, down to $1 billion from $1.4 billion in the same quarter of 2003. Demands for handsets rose overseas but fell in Japan, said the company. The operating loss for the segment widened to $29.2 million in the three months, compared with a loss of $10.6 million year-on-year.

Consolidated first-quarter sales at Mitsubishi declined 2 percent to $6.5 billion from $6.7 billion in the same three months a year earlier.

With the home appliance segment adding to improvements in Mitsubishi’s earnings, the company posted first quarter consolidated operating income of $236.7 million, jumping from $80.7 million in the year-ago three months. Net income recorded an even more dramatic rise to $112.2 million from $5.9 million.