Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., known for the Panasonic brand, reported sales for the year ended March 31, 2006 increased 2 percent, to 8.9 trillion yen (approx. U.S. $78.5 billion), from 8.7 trillion yen (approx. $76.7 billion) in the previous fiscal year.
The company reported operating profit for the year increased 34 percent, to 414.3 billion yen (approx. $3.7 billion), compared with 308.5 billion yen (approx. $2.7 billion) in the previous year.
Net income for the fiscal year, despite the adverse effects of equity in losses of CRT TV-related associated companies, totaled 154.4 billion yen (approx. $1.3 billion), an 164-percent increase from 58.5 billion yen (approx. $515.9 million) in the previous year.
Matsushita said sales of home appliances increased 2 percent to 1.18 trillion yen (approx. $10.11 billion), compared with 1.15 trillion yen in the previous year. Within the home appliance segment, sales gains were recorded in air conditioners and microwave ovens, which were sufficient to offset decreased sales in vacuum cleaners and other household equipment, resulting in overall increased sales.
Additionally, sales of video and audio equipment increased 6 percent from the previous year, due mainly to strong sales of digital audio-visual products, such as plasma TVs and digital cameras. Sales of information and communications equipment increased 2 percent, mainly a result of sales gains in PCs and automotive electronics, which were more than sufficient to offset decreased sales in cellular phones.
In fiscal 2007, the Matsushita said it expects price declines and rising crude oil and raw materials prices. The company currently expects fiscal 2007 sales on a consolidated basis to total approximately 8.95 trillion yen (approx. $79.5 billion), a 1-percent increase from the previous fiscal year.
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