Matsushita Q3 Profits Up
Feb 1, 2007
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Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (Osaka, Japan) said today that consolidated group sales for the third quarter, ended December 31, 2006, increased 2 percent to 2,436.8 billion yen  (approx. U.S. $20.48 billion), from 2,398.4 billion yen in the same 3-month period a year ago.

Operating profit for the third quarter was up 5 percent, to 135.8 billion yen (approx. $1.14 billion), from 129.4 billion yen in the same period a year ago, despite the effects from raw materials costs and global price competition. Pre-tax income totaled 144.4 billion yen (approx. $1.21 billion), up 15 percent from 126.1 billion yen in the previous year. Net income increased 60 percent to 78.7 billion yen (approx. $661 million), from 49.3 billion yen in the same quarter of the previous year.

Matsushita, the Osaka, Japan-based maker of Panasonic brand appliances and consumer electronics, cited sales gains in digital audiovisual (AV) products in the quarter. Of the consolidated group total, domestic sales in Japan increased 3 percent to 1,214.5 billion yen (approx. $10.21 billion), from 1,181.6 billion yen a year ago. Overseas sales amounted to 1,222.3 billion yen ($10.27 billion), mostly unchanged from 1,216.8 billion yen in the third quarter of fiscal 2006.

Matsushita characterized the global economic situation as steady overall during the quarter, but expressed uncertainty about future economic conditions due to possible adverse effects from weaker housing investment on individual spending in the U.S. and concerns about a backlash to the current economic boom in China.

Matsushita said the electronics industry is in the midst of a continuing "severe business environment" caused by price declines, mainly in digital AV products, which are the result of intensified global competition. In response, Matsushita is implementing growth strategies and strengthening management structures to ensure steady growth with profitability.

9-Month Results
Consolidated group sales for the 9 months ended December 31, 2006, increased 3 percent to 6,826.3 billion yen (approx. $57.36 billion), compared with 6,657.6 billion yen in the same 9-month period a year ago. Explaining the nine-month results, the company cited sales gains in digital AV products, such as flat-panel TVs.

Operating profit for the 9 months increased 14 percent to 343.2 billion yen (approx. $2.88 billion),  from 300.5 billion yen in the comparable period a year ago. Pre-tax income for the 9-month period increased 34 percent to 376.9 billion yen ($3.17 billion), compared with 280.2 billion yen a year ago.

Net income was also up 70 percent to 193.8 billion yen (approx. $1.63 billion), as compared with 113.7 billion yen in the 9 months of the previous year.

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