After dumping their Kuro flat panel plasma TV’s Pioneer Australia has returned to profitability and strong growth across all of its business divisions according to the Company.Among the big earners is Blu ray players and high end sound systems and home theatre.
Despite the economic downturn, a withdrawal from flat production and significant business restructure, sales for the first quarter have exceeded expectations.
From April 1 to June 1 2009, Pioneer navigation sales rose 38% and Blu-ray also increased 22%, compared to sales during the same period, twelve months earlier.
Both Blu-ray and navigation are two critical product categories. With Pioneer releasing a new range of AV receivers over the coming months, the company also expects this category to fire.
Chris Kotis, General Manager for Sales and Marketing at Pioneer Electronics Australia Pty Ltd, believes structural changes made by the business earlier in the year were critical in re-establishing stability and paving the way for future growth.
“While news of our exit from plasma initially shocked the company, the addition of new business and wider product focus has been a major factor in improving domestic sales.
‘Audio expansion’ is a key theme for Pioneer moving forward. The partnership with PURE is off to a great start and we have received positive feedback from the trade on the new range of navigation and home audio and video products being rolled-out over the coming months.
Despite a strong start to the fiscal year, Kotis is under no illusion about the challenges that lay ahead for the business.
“Our journey has only just begun. The challenge for Pioneer Electronics Australia is to continue this rate of success over the next 12 months. Easier said than done, but recent sales and future new product introductions suggest we are well placed to do so,” added Kotis.
Heading into Christmas, Pioneer will rollout a new range of flagship Pro DJ equipment, new speakers that compliment high-end AV receivers and a range of PURE digital radio products.
The biggest draw for airlines, industry watchers say, is that they could save money in tough economic times, while simultaneously disguising the change as a product enhancement.
Passengers engrossed with their laptop PCs and mobile entertainment devices that can be used continuously as a result of the power sockets on every seat could also free up cabin crew.
“I’ve heard stories about the number of crew on board each flight being cut by airlines after they introduced personal TVs on every seat,” said Anthony Prakasam, an aviation consultant.
Low-cost airlines such as Ryanair Holdings PLC and AirAsia Bhd, always eager for a fresh revenue source, could also turn to installing USB ports and power sockets and charging for their use.
The biggest losers from the entire episode could be companies such as Rockwell Collins Inc and Panasonic Corp, which develop and build current in-flight entertainment systems but now look like they might have innovated themselves into obsolescence.
These companies have been on the forefront of encouraging airlines to install power sockets and USB ports onto every seat in the aircraft, but they could have to start looking at diversifying their work if they are to stay ahead, analysts say.
Possibilities include venturing into providing advertisers with an entrance into a space that has long been seen as the last bastion of a