Ailing audio and video equipment maker Aiwa Co. said Thursday its group net loss more than tripled in fiscal 2000 due to sluggish personal consumption in Japan and unfavorable overseas factors, including the rapid slowdown in the U.S. economy.

In the past business year through March 31, Aiwa incurred a consolidated net loss of 39.01 billion yen, up from the previous year’s loss of 11.46 billion yen.

The steep increase was partially due to an extraordinary loss of 1.67 billion yen for an early retirement program Aiwa implemented as part of its rehabilitation efforts.

Net loss per share rose from 173.40 yen to 590.17 yen.

Aiwa, which is owned more than 50 percent by Sony Corp., also saw its consolidated pretax loss jump from 7.32 billion yen to 24.60 billion yen on a 10.7 percent drop in group sales to 292.90 billion yen.

Aiwa said it will continue to skip dividend payments for the year.

Total sales included 236.80 billion yen in overseas sales, a decrease of 8.3 percent.

For the current business year, Aiwa forecast a consolidated net loss of 32 billion yen and a pretax loss of 11 billion yen on group sales of 240 billion yen.

In a separate announcement, the Tokyo-based company said it plans to raise 35.04 billion yen by allocating new shares to shareholders on record as of May 25 at 530 yen per share, with payment due on July 30.

Of the proceeds from the share issue, 34.64 billion yen will be used to finance restructuring efforts and operations.

Sanyo profits increase

Sanyo Electric Co. said Thursday that its sales and profits increased in fiscal 2000, aided by strong performances by audiovisual and telecommunications equipment as well as electronic devices.

The consumer electronics maker said its consolidated net profit for the fiscal year that ended March 31 advanced 94.6 percent to 42.20 billion yen under U.S. accounting standards.

Its pretax profit also rose 98.9 percent to 73.48 billion yen.

Overall sales grew 11.2 percent to 2.157 trillion yen. Domestic sales increased 12.1 percent to 1.1 trillion yen and overseas sales were up 10.3 percent to 1.057 trillion yen.

On an unconsolidated basis, Sanyo Electric posted a net profit of 17.60 billion yen, a turnaround from a loss of 48.81 billion yen, and a pretax profit of 31.73 billion yen, up 141.6 percent, on sales of 1.243 trillion yen, up 10.8 percent.

It will pay an annual dividend payment of 6 yen per share for fiscal 2000, up from the previous year’s 5 yen.

For fiscal 2001, Sanyo Electric anticipates a consolidated net profit of 43 billion yen and a pretax profit of 75 billion yen on sales of 2.2 trillion yen.

Record sales at Sharp

OSAKA — Sharp Corp. registered a record 2.012 trillion yen in group sales in fiscal 2000, up 8.5 percent over the previous year, the company said Thursday.

Consolidated net profit jumped 37 percent to 38.5 billion yen in the year that ended in March.

Sharp attributed the strong showing to brisk demand for products using liquid crystal displays, such as color TVs and projectors, as well as electronic parts.

Although overseas sales dropped 1.9 percent from the previous year to 863 billion yen, the company expects a 3 percent growth in the current fiscal year by pushing LCD TVs and personal data assistants.

“We will strengthen overseas sales of our key products, such as LCD TVs and Zaurus PDAs this year,” said Sharp President Katsuhiko Machida.

For fiscal 2001, Sharp targets a consolidated net profit of 42 billion yen, up 9 percent over the previous year, on a 4.3 percent rise in group sales to 2.1 trillion yen. The company plans to invest 140 billion yen, mainly in LCDs and semiconductors.

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