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Pioneer’s Overseas Sales Rose 6% In Fiscal Year

Tokyo — Yearly overseas sales of consumer electronics increased 6 percent at Pioneer, hitting $1.9 billion, up from $1.8 billion, due primarily to worldwide rises in sales of plasma televisions and DVD recorders.

The increase was despite lower sales of DVD players and audio products worldwide and cable set-top boxes in North America.

Overall sales in Pioneer’s CE segment edged upward 1.3 percent in the fiscal 12 months, ended March 31, reaching $2.59 billion from $2.56 billion the previous year.

Overseas sales in Pioneer’s car electronics segment, however, decreased 2.8 percent for the 12 months to $1.57 billion from $1.61 billion. The drop-off was due primarily to lower sales of car audio products to both consumers and auto manufacturers in North America, despite higher sales of car navigation systems.

Sales in the car electronics segment overall for the 12 months rose 3.9 percent, reaching $2.7 billion, up from $2.6 billion year on year.

Operating income for the CE segment plunged 45.9 percent in the 12 months, hitting $19.3 million, down from $35.7 million a year earlier. This was due mainly to intensifying price competition in major product categories and exchange rate fluctuations. Pioneer said it continues to minimize operating costs and expenses and is expanding production in China to reduce overall manufacturing costs.

For the car electronics segment, operating income climbed 10.8 percent to $266.2 million for the year, compared with $240.4 million in the same period a year ago.

Sales into North America decreased 9.8 percent in the 12 months, hitting $1.6 billion, down from $1.8 billion. Operating revenue, however, rose to $105.5 million in North America during the past fiscal year from $102.1 million year-on-year.

Pioneer anticipates a “large increase” in sales for the fiscal year ending in March of 2005, with this number jumping 14.1 percent to $7.4 billion. This rise would reflect expanding demand for home-use plasma displays and DVD recorders and continued solid sales of car navigation systems. The company is looking for a 14.4 percent rise in operating income in the current fiscal year to $460.1 million, while net income is expected to move up nearly 1 percent to $230 million.

Pioneer consolidated sales for the 12 months increased 3.5 percent to $6.4 billion from $6.2 billion. Operating income for this period rose 42.1 percent, hitting $402.3 million, compared with $283.1 million year-on-year. Net income jumped 54.5 percent to $228.5 million, up from $147.9 million in the same time frame last year.