New York — Three top Japanese CE manufacturers had mixed financial results for their fiscal first quarter, which in all cases ended June 30.
The performance of Pioneer, Sharp and Hitachi during the quarter all illustrate the toll higher energy and raw-material costs and the slowdown in the U.S. and world economy have had on their businesses. Neither Sharp nor Pioneer made any mention of one another or possible product introductions in their financial reports despite Sharp’s 2007 investment in Pioneer.
Pioneer posted lower sales and a net loss in its first quarter due to lower sales of car audio, DVD drives and plasma TVs.
Operating revenue fell 11.9 percent to $1.51 billion while Pioneer reported a net loss of $73.1 million for the quarter, compared with net income of $100.3 million for the same time last year. Last year’s first-quarter income reflected a gain on a sale of its Tokorozawa plant and some facilities at the Omori plant.
Car electronics operating revenue fell 9.2 percent year on year to $831.1 million, and operating income fell 77.6 percent to $16.1 million.
Home electronics operating revenue fell 17.4 percent year on year to $541 million due to lower plasma display sales, as well as lower sales of DVD drives and DVD recorders. The segment had an operating loss of $69.8 million, a larger loss than last year due to its plasma display business and a decrease in gross profit margin.
Sharp Electronics reported a 6 percent drop in corporate sales during the fiscal first quarter to $6.92 billion. However profits rose 2.8 percent to $230.4 million year to year.
Sharp blamed general economic conditions worldwide for lower sales — higher energy and raw material costs as well as the U.S. economic slowdown.
The performance of Sharp in key product categories also provides a mixed picture. In audio/visual and communications equipment sales were down 17.8 percent to $3.1 billion. Operating profits in the segment were down a dramatic 64.2 percent to $42.2 million.
In health and environmental equipment, which includes major appliances, there was a 10.2 percent drop in sales to $534.9 million, while operating income was up 56.7 percent to $4.2 million, compared with the same quarter last year.
And in LCD component sales, not finished displays, sales were up 24 percent to $2.93 billion. Operating profits were up 17.3 percent to $187.5 million.
Hitachi reported 7 percent lower sales in its digital media and consumer products segment for its fiscal first quarter. The segment had $3.165 million in sales. The segment did reduce its operating loss by a third, posting a loss for the quarter of $131 million compared with last year’s first quarter.
Corporately, Hitachi reported a 3 percent revenue gain for the quarter, reporting sales of $23.9 billion and net income of $298 million, compared with a loss of $128.5 million during last year’s first quarter.