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Panasonic Posts Huge Fiscal Q1 Profits

Osaka, Japan — Matsushita Electric Industrial, marketers of the Panasonic brand, reported an 86 percent increase in net income in its fiscal first quarter, with CE products leading the way.

Despite a sluggish economy, world economy net income increased 86 percent during its fiscal first quarter, ended June 30, to $677.8 million while operating profit soared 48 percent to $1.01 billion, the company reported.

Matsushita’s digital A/V network unit helped drive profitability, with operating profit up 41 percent to $510.6 million, the company said.

The segment posted a sales increase of 5 percent to $9.06 billion, with sales of video and audio products growing 16 percent compared with last year’s first quarter. Strong flat-panel TV sales, favorable sales in digital cameras and DVD recorders were cited by the company. Information and communications equipment sales were down 3 percent due to sluggish sales in automobile electronics equipment.

In its home appliances segment Matsushita’s sales were up 1 percent to $3.18 billion with refrigerators cited as being a strong category. Home appliance profits were up 75 percent to $292.5 million.

Corporately Matsushita reported that first-quarter sales decreased corporately 4 percent to $19.9 billion because sales of

Victor Company of Japan (JVC)

were included in last year’s first-quarter totals but were not included this year.