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Sanyo Consumer Products Biz Slides 4%

Tokyo — Despite an increase in digital camera sales, lower sales of mobile phones dragged down the consumer products business at Sanyo Electric by 4 percent in the company’s fiscal third quarter, hitting $2.6 billion, compared with a year-ago $2.7 billion.

The company’s consumer products numbers include, along with cameras and phones, consumer electronics such as televisions, VCRs, DVD players, LCD projectors and audio equipment. The category also includes major appliances.

Third-quarter operating income for consumer products reached $15.7 million, a 77.1 percent drop from the $68.7 million reported year-on-year.

However, overseas sales in the third quarter, ended Dec. 31, moved up 5.2 percent, reaching $2.8 billion, compared with $2.7 billion in the first quarter last year.

For the nine months, Sanyo consumer sales slipped 7.4 percent, down to $7.4 billion from a year-earlier $8 billion, while overseas sales in the period were up 0.5 percent, rising to $7.95 billion, from $7.91 billion in the same three months in 2004.

The consumer products segment reported an operating loss of $86.9 million for the third quarter, compared with income of $215.1 million in the same period in 2004.

Component segment sales increased slightly in the third quarter but were essentially flat at $1.96 billion. This was despite a decrease in sales for LCDs, due to business restructuring, and for optical pickups, due to price declines, owing to the great demand for rechargeable batteries such as lithium-ion cells, said the company.

Operating income for the component segment soared to $120 million in the third quarter, compared with $26.5 million year-over-year. Components include semiconductors, LCDs and electronic components and batteries.

In the nine months, component business sales decreased 5.4 percent, down to $5.8 billion, from $6.1 billion year-on-year. Operating income for the nine months dropped 70 percent to $67.5 million from a year-ago $225.2 million.

Consolidated sales in the third quarter were off 1.5 percent to $5.2 billion from a year-ago $5.3 billion.

Operating income reached $139 million, up 57.6 percent from the $88.2 million registered in the third quarter of 2004, due to cost reduction. Net income was $53 million in the three months, compared with a loss of $150 million in the same period a year earlier.

For the nine months, sales slipped 4.6 percent to $15.3 billion from $16 billion.

Sanyo reported an operating loss of $86.8 million for the nine months, compared with operating income of $420.3 million the previous year. The company’s net loss came in at $1.2 billion, compared with a year-earlier loss of $121.1 million.