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Pioneer Electronics’ CE Sales Increase 7% During Fiscal Yr.

TOKYO — Overall sales of consumer electronics at Pioneer climbed nearly 7 percent to $4.72 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31, compared with $4.41 billion in fiscal 2000.

The company’s Audio/Video Products Group and Car Electronics Products Group were flat for the 12 months, with A/V registering sales of $1.54 billion for the year and Car Electronics $1.97 billion — both almost the same numbers as the previous fiscal year.

Pioneer said sales of plasma displays increased greatly in both the consumer and business markets, with overseas sales of this product group rising 5.3 percent to $1.13 billion. Overseas sales of DVD also were good, the company said.

Sales of car audio products to car manufacturers greatly increased and sales of car MD/CD players for consumer markets were strong as well. However, overseas sales decreased 5.2 percent to $1.25 billion, compared with the previous year.

With sales of digital cable TV set-top boxes increasing, largely in North America, overall overseas sales in the company’s Others Group climbed 30.3 percent from the previous year to $707.8 million. Total sales in the Others Group, which also includes DVD-ROM drives, climbed 33.5 percent to $1.21 billion, compared with the same 12 months last year.

Overseas sales of Pioneer’s A/V Software Business decreased 48.8 percent to $98.5 million, due primarily to a large decline in sales of animation videocassettes in North America, caused by a lack of big hits like the previous fiscal year’s Pokemon series.

For the fiscal year, Pioneer recorded its highest-ever-consolidated operating revenue, up 5.1 percent to $5.22 billion, compared with $4.8 billion in fiscal 2000. Consolidated operating income for the 12 months was $272.6 million, down about 43 percent from the $190.3 million registered the previous year.

Operating revenue in North America climbed 6.2 percent to $1.74 billion in fiscal 2001, compared with $1.64 billion the previous 12 months. Operating income in North America for the past year increased 8.7 percent to $163.7 million, compared with $150.8 million the previous 12 months.

Looking ahead to fiscal 2002, Pioneer expects consolidated operating revenue to climb 11 percent to $5.8 billion, compared with fiscal 2001. The company said consolidated net income should rise 15 percent to $169.3 million, compared with $147.5 million this fiscal year.

Pioneer said it expects its business increases to be driven by strong sales of car electronics products, DVD players, DVD recorders and plasma displays. Pioneer also expects to aggressively promote DVD-ROM and DVD-R/RW drives.

In order to raise efficiency and streamline operations, Pioneer said production of DVD and car electronics products will start at two Chinese plants this fall.