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Sony Corp. defied the worldwide slowdown in fiscal 2001 by logging record consolidated sales, thanks to a sharp increase in sales of the PlayStation2 game console and a weakening of the yen, company officials said Thursday.

The electronics giant reported 7.58 trillion yen in group sales, up 3.6 percent from the previous year.

Its consolidated profits, however, declined from the previous year. This was attributed to shrinking trade in the electronic device sector and to losses posted by Aiwa Co., a struggling subsidiary that manufactures audiovisual equipment, according to Teruhisa Tokunaka, Sony’s executive deputy president and chief financial officer.

Sony posted consolidated operating profits of 134.63 billion yen, down 40.3 percent from a year earlier, and consolidated pretax profits of 92.78 billion yen, down 65.1 percent.

Its consolidated net profits fell 8.6 percent to 15.31 billion yen.

On a parent-only basis, Sony posted pretax losses of 6.12 billion yen, well down from the pretax profits of 81.5 billion yen it logged the previous year, and operating losses of 52.99 billion yen, down from operating profits of 50.46 billion yen.

Sony’s net profits dropped 34.1 percent to 29.64 billion yen, while its sales fell 12.1 percent to 2.64 trillion yen.

For fiscal 2002, Sony is forecasting consolidated pretax profits of 310 billion yen, consolidated operating profits of 280 billion yen, consolidated net profits of 150 billion yen and group sales of 8 trillion yen.

The company did not disclose its parent-only projections for fiscal 2002.

Sharp declines

Sharp Corp. said Thursday it registered double-digit declines in sales and profit in the year that ended March 31. Consolidated sales totaled 1.804 trillion yen in the just-ended business year, down 10.4 percent from the year before and resulting in a 30.5 percent fall in group operating profit to 73.59 billion yen, Sharp said.

Electronic goods such as audiovisual devices and information equipment contributed 1.274 trillion yen to overall sales, down 0.8 percent. Liquid crystal displays and other electronic components accounted for 529.72 billion yen, down 27.3 percent.

In addition to slower sales, liquidation and valuation losses on shareholdings caused a 70.6 percent plunge in consolidated net profit to 11.31 billion yen, bringing earnings per share down to 10.10 yen.

Sharp also reported a 39.4 percent drop in group pretax profit to 48.89 billion yen.

On a parent-only basis, the firm registered a pretax profit of 43.30 billion yen, down 35.6 percent, and a net profit of 10.24 billion yen, down a sharp 70.7 percent, on a 14.4 percent fall in sales to 1.372 trillion yen.

Sanyo profit plunges

Sanyo Electric Co. said Thursday its group net profit for the business year to March 31 tumbled 95.9 percent to 1.73 billion yen, hurt by appraisal losses on securities holdings.

The company also cited higher costs for early retirement programs.

Sanyo’s per-share net profit came to 0.92 yen, down from 22.55 yen the previous year. Its group pretax profit plunged 95.5 percent to 3.27 billion yen, on a 6.1 percent fall in sales to 2.025 trillion yen.

By segment, sales of electronic devices fell 15.3 percent, while electric equipment dropped 5.7 percent and industrial equipment 12.6 percent. The declines more than offset Sanyo’s firm sales of audiovisual and information equipment, it said.

For the current business year, the company projects a group net profit of 25 billion yen and a pretax profit of 50 billion yen on sales of 2.1 trillion yen.

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