Japanese audio equipment maker Pioneer Corp. said Tuesday its group net profit in fiscal 2000 rose 39.9 percent to 18.30 billion yen thanks to brisk sales of its plasma display panels.

Group net profit per share was 101.76 yen, compared with 72.81 yen the previous year.

Group sales grew 5.1 percent to a record 647.07 billion yen.

The company ascribed the strong earnings results to brisk demand at home and abroad for plasma displays and DVD players, which have become the company’s mainstay products.

Pioneer said it plans to raise its per-share yearend dividend by 2.5 yen to 7.5 yen, which, together with an interim dividend it paid of 7.5 yen per share, brings its dividend for the year to 15 yen. This is up 5 yen from the previous year.

On a parent-only basis, net profit rose 50.8 percent to 1.73 billion yen on sales of 398.56 billion yen, up 7.1 percent.

For this fiscal year, the company expects group net profit of 21 billion yen and group pretax profit of 38 billion yen on sales of 720 billion yen.

The company does not release its parent-only projections for the current year.

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