Sony Corp. said Wednesday its group sales and net profit for the October-December period each hit record quarterly highs, bolstered by strong performance in its film, electronics and game businesses.

The high-tech and entertainment giant said its consolidated sales in the reporting quarter rose 1.2 percent from a year earlier to 2.1 trillion yen, and net profit soared 95.9 percent to 125.4 billion yen.

Its group pretax profit was up 69.3 percent to 201.9 billion yen, and operating profit rose 25.8 percent to 199.5 billion yen.

Group net profit per share stood at 136.19 yen in the October-December quarter, well up from 69.72 yen a year earlier.

In the film business, Sony posted robust DVD and video sales of such titles as “Spider-Man” and “MIB 2,” which were both box-office hits.

For the full fiscal year to March 31, Sony left its previous earnings forecast unchanged.

In its forecast made in October, Sony expected a group net profit of 180 billion yen, up 11.8 fold from the previous year, and a pretax profit of 310 billion yen, up 3.3 fold, on sales of 7.6 trillion yen, almost unchanged.

CRT tieup in the works

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and Toshiba Corp. said Wednesday they will integrate their overseas cathode-ray tube operations in a joint company to be formed April 1.

According to a basic agreement between Matsushita and Toshiba reached Sept. 26, the joint company, Matsushita Toshiba Picture Display Co., will integrate CRT operations, which range from research and development to manufacturing and sales.

The integration will not cover the companies’ manufacturing operations in Japan, where the parent companies will continue to operate their own factories.

Matsushita Toshiba Picture Display, based in Takatsuki, Osaka Prefecture, will become the world’s third largest CRT company with a workforce of 15,700, according to the founders.

The company will be capitalized at 10 billion yen, of which Matsushita will contribute 64.5 percent and Toshiba 35.5 percent. Annual sales are projected at 300 billion yen for fiscal 2003.

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