Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. today reported a loss for the first quarter, ended June 30, of the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2002.
Consolidated group sales for the first quarter were down 6% to 1,674.8 billion yen (U.S.$13.51 billion), from 1,772.4 billion yen in the same three-month period a year ago.
Domestic sales decreased 5% to 824.6 billion yen ($6.65 billion), from 865.3 billion yen in the first quarter of the previous year. Of overall domestic sales, sales in the AVC Networks segment remained above the level of the same quarter of the previous year, while other segments, such as Components and Devices, and Industrial Equipment showed setbacks.
Overseas sales were also slow, decreasing 6% to 850.2 billion yen ($6.86 billion), compared with 907.1 billion yen in the first quarter of the previous year. Overseas, sales of video and audio equipment within the AVC Networks segment and the Home Appliances segment marked increases, while other categories showed sales declines.
"The company's profits were severely impacted by setbacks in sales of mobile communications equipment, such as cellular phones, and IT-related components and devices, as well as intensified global price competition," Matsushita said. "The adverse effects of these factors were not fully offset by the company's manufacturing cost reductions, and resulted in an operating loss of 38.7 billion yen ($312 million), compared with an operating profit of 21.2 billion yen in the same quarter a year ago.
The company registered a loss before income taxes of 21.2 billion yen ($171 million) for the first quarter, compared with income before income taxes of 28.6 billion yen in the year-earlier quarterly period, and a net loss of 19.4 billion yen ($156 million), compared with a net income of 9.4 billion yen a year ago.
This led to a first-quarter net loss per common share of 9.32 yen (8 cents per American Depository Share (ADS), each representing one share of common stock) on a diluted basis, versus net income per common share of 4.45 yen on the same basis in the first quarter a year ago.
Sales of Components and Devices decreased 11% to 354.9 billion yen ($2.86 billion), compared with 399.8 billion yen in the same quarter a year ago. Reduced sales of semiconductors, general components and motors for the mobile communications industry resulted in largely reduced overall sales in this segment.
On a consolidated group basis, the company said it now expects six-month sales to decrease 10% from the same period last year, to approximately 3,380 billion yen, replacing its earlier forecast on April 27, 2001 of 3,540 billion yen. Consolidated income before income taxes is anticipated to decrease sharply to a pretax loss of approximately 65 billion yen, compared to the previous forecast for pre-tax income of 18 billion yen. Net income for the six-month period is also expected to show a large decrease, resulting in an estimated net loss of approximately 45 billion yen. The previous forecast for net income was 9 billion yen.