MANHASSET, N.Y. Japanese electronics company Hitachi Ltd. reported sales of $18.2 billion with a net loss of $217 million in its first fiscal 2005 quarter ended June 30. Sales were roughly the same in the year-ago quarter, when Hitachi earned $142.3 million.
Like other Japanese electronics companies, Hitachi took a hard hit in the quarter, with operating income declining 97 percent to $12 million. Hitachi cited sluggish exports, declining consumer goods prices, and lackluster financial performance at several of its units.
Revenue declined 6 percent to $4.0 billion in Hitachi’s Information & Telecommunication Systems segment due to a sluggish domestic market. The segment posted an operating loss of $204.5 million, compared with operating income of $49.8 million in the first quarter of the previous fiscal year.
Hitachi’s Electronic Devices segment saw revenue decline 19 percent to $2.4 billion, because of lower sales of small and medium-sized LCDs for mobile phones and other applications. Operating income fell 71 percent to $41.8 million due to poor earnings caused by falling prices.
In an effort to expand the company’s display business, Hitachi incorporated Fujitsu Hitachi Plasma Ltd.
as a consolidated subsidiary during the quarter. Hitachi also said it would expand production
in its plasma business by increasing plant investment.
For the first half of fiscal 2005 ending September, Hitachi forecasts revenue of $40.7 billion, only 2 percent above fiscal first half 2004 sales, with net income flat as the Japanese economy continues to grow slowly.