Matsushita Electric Philippines Corp., a unit of Japan's Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and owner of the National and Panasonic brands, on Tuesday projected its sales growth would double this year to 10 percent due to the launch of new products.
Rodolfo Perez, president of National Panasonic Sales Philippines -- a unit of Matsushita -- expects sales to rise 10 percent to 7.92 billion pesos (U.S. $151.9 million) this year. In 2002, sales grew 5 percent to PHP 7.2 billion.
Mr. Perez said the company expects to realize the stronger sales growth this year through the introduction of new consumer electronics products and a move to unify the group's brand.
Starting October, Matsushita will drop the National brand name and retain only the Panasonic brand name. The move is effective worldwide, except in Japan. Currently, the Panasonic brand name is limited to television sets and stereo components. The move is also expected to reduce advertising costs.
Matsushita is currently said to be one of the largest appliance makers in the Philippines, accounting for 50 percent of the market for refrigerators and 25 percent for air-conditioners.
The company recently invested PHP300 million to boost the annual production capacity of its air-conditioner factory in Laguna province, south of Manila, to 250,000 units from 100,000 units. (Dow Jones)