Japan's Hitachi Half-Year Net Profit Down 67.8%


Japanese high-tech firm Hitachi on Tuesday said its net profit fell 67.8 percent in the six months to September, hit by the impact of the March earthquake and a strong yen.

Hitachi's net profit came to 50.9 billion yen ($652 million) in the April-September first half, which was still slightly higher than a recently upgraded profit forecast of 50.0 billion yen.

Operating profit fell 21.8 percent to 170.6 billion yen.

"Although we pushed with cutting materials and other costs, (the profit) came below the year-before level due to the impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake and the strong yen," the company said in a statement.

Sales edged up 1.6 percent to 4.57 trillion yen.

Like many other Japanese firms, Hitachi -- whose products range from microchips to nuclear power equipment -- reported damage to its production facilities and electricity supply problems after the March 11 disaster.

But the company last week revised its first-half net profit forecast five times higher to 50 billion yen, citing its ability to recover from the March disasters.

Hitachi left unchanged its net-profit projection of 200 billion yen for the full year to March 2012, down 16 percent from a record 238.87 billion yen last year.

Operating profit is forecast to fall 10 percent to 400 billion yen on two percent sales growth to 9.5 trillion yen.