Pioneer CE Overseas Sales Flat For Year

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Tokyo - Pioneer posted generally flat overseas sales of consumer electronics for its fiscal year with a large increase in plasma display sales being offset by falling sales of digital set-top boxes and compact stereo systems.

Overseas CE segment sales hit $1.30 billion for the year, ended March 31, down less than 1 percent from a year-ago $1.31 billion. This segment includes home A/V equipment, equipment for cable television systems, digital broadcast set-top boxes and home phones.

Overall annual Pioneer CE segment sales climbed 6.2 percent, reaching $1.9 billion, up from $1.8 billion in the preceding 12 months.

Operating income for Pioneer's CE segment came in at $3.2 million for the year, moving into the black, compared with a year-on-year operating loss of $90.1 million.

In its car electronics segment, Pioneer recorded an 8.2 percent increase in annual overseas sales, to $1.5 billion, from $1.4 billion. The rise was due primarily to growing sales of car CD players, as well as growth of car audio products to manufacturers in North America.

Overall auto segment sales for the 12 months jumped 9.1 percent, hitting $2.3 billion, compared with $2.2 billion in the previous period.

Operating income for the car segment for the year soared 62.6 percent, to $217.8 million, up from $134 million year over year.

Pioneer sales to North America also remained flat year-on-year, with totals reaching $1.70 billion, compared with $1.69 billion. Operating revenue to North America for the year moved up 4.3 percent, reaching $97.9 million, compared with $93.9 million in the previous 12 months.

In reporting its consolidated yearly business, Pioneer said revenue increased 7.6 percent, hitting $6 billion, up from $5.5 billion the previous period. Operating income rose 68.6 percent, to $299 million, up from $177.4 million year-on-year. Net income nearly doubled, to $134 million, up from $67.1 million in the year-ago 12 months.

Looking to its consolidated business forecast for the current year, ended March 31, 2004, Pioneer is quite optimistic it will improve upon the solid results just reported. The company is forecasting a 7 percent overall gain in revenue, coming in at $6.3 billion. Operating income is anticipated at $341.8 million, a 14 percent jump, while net income is anticipated to make a 24 percent leap, to $166.7 million.

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