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Top Japanese Companies Post Profit Gains

  • Chen Li

Some of Japan's largest companies are posting big earnings gains, while Chinese demand led to record output for world's largest mining company. VOA's Chen Li has this week's wrap of business news in Asia.

Japanese companies have released their latest quarterly earnings. Sony Corporation says profit doubled to $551 million in the three months ending in June because of strong sales of flat screen TVs, and digital and video cameras.

Sales of Sony video-game consoles and software jumped 60 percent, but that was not enough to lift income for the company's gaming operations.

Chief financial officer Nobuyuki Oneda says its gaming operations posted a $237 million loss because of poor pricing of the Playstation 3 or PS-3 video game console.

"Although PS-3 contributed to increased sales, actual results of this quarter were slightly below our original expectation," he saidl

The world's largest consumer electronics maker, Matsushita, says profit rose almost 10 percent in the three months during the April-June quarter because of strong global sales of appliances such as flat-screen TVs. The company, famous for its Panasonic brand, says income reached $320 million.

Japan's second biggest automaker, Honda, saw profit for the April-June quarter rise 16 percent to $1.38 billion. Honda says a weaker yen and robust car demand overseas, particularly for fuel-efficient vehicles, boosted revenues.

In other automobile industry news, South Korea's biggest automaker, Hyundai, says profit increased 52 percent to $666 million during the quarter ending in June, compared with the same period last year.

Sales went up 15 percent, offsetting the impact of a stronger won, which makes South Korean products more expensive in the United States.

The world's biggest miner, Australia's BHP Billiton says growing demand from China pushed record high production of iron ore, copper, aluminum and other key commodities. The company's annual copper output rose seven percent to 1.25 million tons, while iron ore production rose eight percent to more than 98 million tons.

Singapore residential property prices are rising. The country's national real estate planning agency, the URA, says prices rose 8.3 percent in the three months ending in June, from 4.8 percent the previous quarter. Private residential rents also increased 10.4 percent.

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