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May 23, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:51pm

MATSUSHITA GROUP REPORTS 1997 PROFIT

By CBR Staff Writer

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd reported consolidated net income for the year ended March 31 equivalent to $1.11bn – or $0.49 per common share – on revenue up 13% at $61.9bn, compared to a loss of $458.9m a year earlier. 1996 figures include a charge of $1.32bn on currency exchange related to the sale of an 80% stake in MCA Inc. All figures are calculated at a rate of 124 yen to the dollar. Without the charge, 1997 net income represents a 28% year-to-year increase. The company attributes the increased earnings to sales growth, continued efforts to keep manufacturing costs down and the decreased value of the yen. Domestic sales rose 9% to $32.63bn, and overseas sales grew 18% to $29.28bn. Among key firms in the Matsushita group that reported strong growth for the year, computer peripherals maker Matsushita- Kotobuki Electronics Industries Ltd saw pretax profit nearly quadruple on the back of strong sales of hard disk drives. Matsushita Communication Industrial Co, maker of mobile communications equipment, posted a 170% increase in pretax profit. For fiscal 1998, Matsushita is predicting a 4% increase in revenue and a 10% increase in net income. Matsushita also said it will increase group capital spending 15% in the current fiscal year to $3.79bn, with double the growth in plant and equipment investment of the previous year. More emphasis will be placed on LCD panel sector, while spending on semiconductor development will remain essentially flat – a surprise after the company said it would stress semiconductors when it revealed a new business plan in January (CI No 3,077).

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