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Pioneer Overseas CE Sales Drop, Profit Rises

Tokyo — Although Pioneer enjoyed increases in consolidated fiscal third-quarter revenue and profit, sales in its home electronics segment dropped 6.7 percent, to $671.3 million, from $724.4 million in the year-ago period, due, in part, to a decline in plasma-display sales in Japan.

Overseas sales in Pioneer’s consumer electronics segment decreased 10.3 percent in the third quarter, ended Dec. 31, to $438.4 million, from $493.9 million in the same three months in 2002. This drop was caused mainly by a decrease in sales of DVD players worldwide and digital cable TV set-top boxes and audio products in North America, despite a global increase in sales of home plasma displays.

Even with the third quarter sales decline in its CE segment, Pioneer reported home electronics operating income of $45.5 million for the period, a 39.4 percent increase over the $32.7 million recorded in the same three months a year ago.

Car electronics segment sales in the third quarter soared 15.7 percent, hitting $702.5 million, up from $613.6 million in the third quarter of 2002. Increased sales of car audio/video products in North America helped third quarter overseas sales in the car electronics segment jump 6.6 percent, reaching $380 million, from $360.3 million year-on-year. Third-quarter operating income for the segment climbed 69 percent, to $72.4 million, from $42.9 million.

Even though Pioneer was among the first to market with such digital products as plasma TVs, the company has been conceding some of its initial inertia to CE product giants such as Sony and Matsushita, but not so much in North America, where sales of plasma displays have boomed.

This overseas CE effort helped Pioneer record a 7.6 percent consolidated third-quarter sales rise, to $1.9 billion, from $1.7 billion. Consolidated operating income for the three months jumped 41.2 percent, to $156.9 million, from $112.2 million, reflecting increased sales and improved gross profit margin, while net income increased 14.8 percent, hitting $85.4 million, compared with $75.2 million, reflecting an increase in operating income.

For the nine months, overseas sales in Pioneer’s CE segment dropped 16.7 percent, to $944.4 million, from $1.1 billion. Overseas sales in the car electronics segment slipped less, down 3.6 percent, to $1.2 billion.

Nine-month home electronics operating income moved into the red, decreasing from a profit of less than $1 million, to a loss of $50.2 million. Operating income for the car electronics segment in the nine months rose 2.9 percent, coming in at $205.7 million, from $199.8 million.

Consolidated nine-month Pioneer sales moved up 3.1 percent, to $4.9 billion, from $4.8 billion, while net income for the period increased 58.6 percent, to $202 million, from $128.6 million.

Anticipated consolidated revenue for the full fiscal year, ending in March, remains at $6.9 billion, with expected operating income of $415.4 million and net income of $236 million.