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Pioneer’s CE Sales Climb 9.9%

Tokyo — With plasma display sales increasing 30 percent, driven by an expanding market for high resolution models in North America, home electronics segment sales at Pioneer increased 9.9 percent in the company’s fiscal 12 months, hitting $3 billion, up from $2.8 billion in the same period a year ago.

Sales of DVD recorders and players and stereo systems declined in the year.

Operating loss in the home electronics segment, mainly consumer electronics products, widened to $300.7 million for the year, compared with a loss of $214. 2 million year-on-year. This was mainly due to decreases in gross profit margin for plasma displays and DVD products, due to a sharp decline in market prices.

In Pioneer’s car electronics segment, fiscal year sales rose 8.9 percent, hitting $2.8 billion, compared with $2.7 billion in the same period last year. Sales of car navigation systems increased in consumer markets, with sales growth coming mainly from North America and Japan. OEM sales climbed in North America.

Due to an increase of development costs for future models, year-end operating income for the car electronics business decreased 5.9 percent to $149.5 million from a year-earlier $161.7 million.

Pioneer sales in North America for the fiscal year, ended March 31, jumped 14.7 percent, coming in at $1.8 billion, up from a year-ago $1.5 billion. The company moved into the black in North America during its fiscal year, reporting operating income of $29.3 million, compared with an operating loss of $23.8 million in the previous 12 months.

Pioneer consolidated sales increased 6.2 percent in the company’s fiscal year, reaching $6.5 billion, up from $6.2 billion the previous 12 months. The jump was due to increased sales of plasma displays and car audio products.

The company posted an operating loss $140.2 million for the year, compared with an operating profit of $6 million year-over-year. The loss was due mainly to decreased gross profit margin resulting from falling prices for the company’s major products.

Pioneer posted a net loss of $726.4 million in the fiscal year, much wider than the $76.5 million net loss posted the previous 12 months. The increase was due mainly to charges related to an early retirement plan and impairment losses.