Pioneer profit up 27.5%

TOKYO — A weakened yen combined with strong sales of car navigation systems and digital video disc (DVD) players helped put Pioneer Electronics Corp. on a recovery path with a 27.5% rise in profits in the first quarter of fiscal 1997.

Pioneer reported Monday its net profits for the April-June quarter of 1997 were 1.03 billion yen ($8.5 million), up from the 804 million yen ($6.8 million) in the first quarter of fiscal 1996. The company also reversed the 1.11 billion yen ($9.4 million) in red ink it incurred in operating profit a year ago by posting operating profit of 953 million yen ($8 million) in the first quarter of 1997.

The company said a corporate restructuring program helped in changing the fortunes at the Japanese audiovisual equipment maker.

Even though sales of Pioneer’s mainstay laser disc (LD) systems have been flagging, the company said sales of its DVD players have been on the rise. Pioneer controls about half of the domestic DVD market and it specializes in LD-DVD compatible players.

Pioneer had sales of $1.1 billion for the quarter, up from the $1 billion posted a year ago.

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