Two major Japanese electronics companies, Matsushita Electric Industrial Corp and Sharp Corp, announced upbeat earnings yesterday on robust demand for consumer electronics, though Matsushita, which makes Panasonic-brand products, said plasma TV sales dipped on sliding prices.
Net income at Osaka-based Matsushita jumped 9.7 percent in the April-June quarter to ?39.31 billion (US$327.34 million) in the April-June period from ?35.83 billion a year earlier, buoyed by digital cameras and car electronics.
Revenue increased 4.8 percent to ?2.240 trillion from ?2.137 trillion a year earlier, as solid sales overseas helped offset a less-than-stellar performance in Japan.
Sales of digital cameras and car electronics and the yen's weakness helped boost foreign sales by 8 percent, Matsushita said.
But falling prices of plasma TVs hurt profits.
Matsushita chief financial officer Makoto Uenoyama said the average selling price of a Matsushita plasma TV fell 29 percent in the quarter, in line with an overall fall in prices for plasma TVs.
That led to a 1 percent decrease in plasma TV sales for the quarter to ?128.9 billion (US$1.07 billion), the first time sales dropped in that sector, Uenoyama said.
For the full year, the company revised downward its group profit to ?246 billion from ?250 billion, on sales of ?8.780 trillion.
Meanwhile, profits at Sharp, also based in Osaka, edged up 1.4 percent in the latest quarter.
The sales were led by sales of large flat-screen televisions, mobile phones and other products, the Japanese maker announced yesterday.
Sharp, known for the Aquos brand of liquid-crystal-display TVs, posted a net income of ?24.22 billion for the April-June period, up from ?23.89 billion a year earlier.
Sales increased 14.7 percent to ?796.01 billion from ?693.70 billion the previous year, buoyed by a 37.6 percent surge in audiovisual equipment, including LCD TVs and mobile phones, the company said in a statement.
Sharp has managed to avoid the devastating fall in flat-panel TV prices by pushing its higher-end models.
Though market prices for LCD TVs fell about 30 percent, Sharp's average price for those TVs rose 4 percent in the latest quarter, according to company spokesman Kyo Otani.
Sharp left unchanged its forecast of ?105.00 billion (US$873.82 million) in net income for the year ending this March 31, a 3.2 percent increase over the previous year.
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