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Matsushita boosts forecast after strong quarter

Posted: 06 Feb 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Yoshiko Hara? Matsushita? PDP TV?

Driven by strong PDP TV sales, Matsushita Electric reported record sales in Q3.

Despite a product recall in Japan, Matsushita reported the record high sales of $20.2 billion on operating profits of $1.1 billion. Net profit totaled $413 million.

Based on the strong results, Matsushita revised upward its annual forecast for its fiscal year ending in March. Sales are expected to reach $75 billion, a $1 billion increase from its original forecast. The operating profit forecast was raised by $590 million to $3.4 billion, Matsushita's highest in 15 years.

PDP TV sales accounted for much of Matsushita's strong results. The company estimated that PDP TV sales in its current fiscal year will total 2.1 million units. It is forecasting a near doubling of PDP TV sales next fiscal year, which would give it 40 percent of the global market.

A recall of kerosene heaters in Japan resulted in costs estimated at $202 million. "We'll continue this operation until we find the last one," said Tetsuya Kawakami, Matsushita's senior managing director.

Component and device sales, which includes electronic components, semiconductors and batteries, declined year-on-year to an estimated $11.6 billion, down 6 percent from the year before. But operating profits increased to an estimated 5.8 percent in current fiscal year.

Kawakami said semiconductor sales declined, but internal chip consumption increased. Meanwhile, chip sales to manufacturers of digital cameras and DVD recorders declined.

Matsushita also announced that it has agreed to sell all of its stock related to an earlier purchase of Universal Studios shares. The holdings were consolidated under its MEI Holding Inc. subsidiary. MEI will be dissolved on completion of the stock sale.

Matsushita acquired MCA (formerly Universal) in 1990. In 1995, it sold MCA to Seagram, retaining 20 percent of its stock. Matsushita hoped to maintain ties to the movie and music industries in hopes of establishing a recordable media format standard and developing copyright protection technologies. Vivendi later purchased Seagram, and Vivendi Universal was established.

- Yoshiko Hara
EE Times

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