Matsushita profits sink sharply in global slump

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., parent of MCA/Universal, reported a dramatic drop in profits for its fiscal year, buffeted by a difficult world economy.

Unfortunately, Universal couldn’t soften the blow more.

While the studio, record label and theme park posted a 7% increase in operating profits, sales dropped 3%.

Meanwhile, the giant electronics company reported a net income of $ 331 million ($ 1.57 per American Depositary share), a 71% drop compared to fiscal 1992. Operating profits were 38% lower, at $ 2.08 billion vs. $ 3.35 billion.

Revenues were off 5% to $ 60.83 billion, from last year’s $ 64.2 billion.

For the entertainment division, which includes Universal Studios, MCA and the theme park, revenues were off 3% to $ 5.24 billion, vs. $ 5.4 billion in 1992. Operating income was up 7% to $ 22 billion, from the previous year.

The company’s stock fell off 2 1/2 to $ 114.50.

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