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Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Pioneer Plunges into the Red

Japan's Pioneer plunged deep into loss in the six months to September, whilst battling disappointing sales of DVD recorders and other consumer electronics products.

Pioneer on Monday posted a net loss of 12.26 billion yen (105.7 million dollars) for the first half of its financial year, compared with a profit of 4.81 billion yen a year earlier.

The group, a maker of DVD hardware, plasma display panels and car navigation systems, reported an interim operating loss of 16.39 billion yen against a profit of 13.40 billion.

Revenue rose by 1.4 percent to 349.90 billion yen, mainly reflecting increased sales of plasma displays which compensated for decreased sales of DVD products, the firm said.

In the second quarter alone Pioneer ran up a net loss of 6.92 billion yen, compared with a profit of 3.31 billion a year earlier.

It posted an operating loss of 7.52 billion yen for the quarter compared with a profit of 8.39 billion yen in the same period of the previous year.

"This loss was principally caused by lower market prices for our main products due to more severe competition, resulting in decrease of gross profit margins," the company said in a statement.

Sales of DVD-related products fell some 20 percent in the second quarter from a year before owing to intensified competition, said Pioneer.

The group said it was aiming to carry out "more cost cutting in production in China" to boost its fortunes in the DVD hardware sector.

A relative lack of new car model launches hit sales of car navigation systems to automobile manufacturers in Japan in the second quarter, though car audio product sales held up well, it added.

Pioneer recently warned it expects a net loss of 24 billion yen in the year to March 2006, against a loss of 8.79 billion in the previous financial year.

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