P.M. BRIEFING : Japan Electronics Earnings Soar

From Times wire services

Three of Japan's leading consumer electronics makers today reported record earnings for last year, benefiting from healthy sales at home and abroad.

Spokesmen for Toshiba Corp., Sony Corp. and Hitachi projected continued growth in the current year, which started April 1.

"The good results were due to higher sales, especially of information and communications systems and electronic devices, both in Japan and overseas," a Toshiba spokesman said.

Toshiba said its earnings surged 58% from a year earlier to a record $639 million. Sony, whose products range from the Walkman portable cassette player to a Hollywood movie studio, said earnings climbed 38.5% to $384 million. Hitachi's earnings grew 14.6% to a record $759 million.

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