Matsushita Electric Industrial said its entertainment sales in the three months ended Dec. 31, mainly from its U.S. movie subsidiary MCA Inc., grew 5% from a year earlier to about $1.85 billion, thanks to such films as "The Flintstones."
Meanwhile, European entertainment giant PolyGram said its earnings rose 20% in 1994 to $447 million, despite a $25-million operating loss in its film division. The film "Four Weddings and a Funeral" helped boost revenue for the film entertainment division by 46% to $595.1 million.
At Matsushita, officials said they expect final numbers to show $4.65 billion in revenue at MCA for the year ended Dec. 31 and about $349 million in operating profit.
The gains occurred despite a well-publicized dispute between senior executives of Matsushita and MCA over the fact that MCA executives want the freedom to make major moves such as acquisitions.
Overall, Matsushita reported a big jump in profits in the quarter ended Dec. 31, helped by brisk sales of home appliances, communications equipment and electronic components.
The electronics giant said net profit in the period surged 273% from a year earlier to $415 million, while its group pretax profit rose 93% to $938 million.
At PolyGram, sales overall rose to $5.2 billion.
Sales of pop music, which accounts for about 68% of the company's group sales, rose 14% to $3.52 billion, largely fueled by strong sales of its 15 best-selling albums.
The three classical music labels of PolyGram jointly managed to hold their market share, with sales inching 3% higher.
PolyGram is 75%-owned by Philips Electronics of the Netherlands.