Tokyo - Sales increased 3 percent to $10 billion in Hitachi's consumer electronics segment during the fiscal year.
Boosted by sales of optical storage products and plasma televisions, sales in the digital media and consumer products segment hit $10 billion for the 12 months, ended March 31, up from $9.7 billion in the same period a year ago.
Hitachi's digital media and consumer products segment moved into the black during the fiscal year, coming in at $52 million, compared with an operating loss of $122.2 million the previous 12 months. The segment's operating profit turnaround reflects an improvement in profitability in rechargeable batteries at Hitachi Maxell, as well as the benefits of structural reforms.
At Hitachi Maxell, sales were largely on a par with the previous fiscal year, as growth in rechargeable battery sales, namely lithium-ion types used in mobile phones, and recordable DVDs, was offset by falling audiotape and videotape sales.
Sales in North America fell 4 percent during the fiscal year, down to $7 billion, compared with $7.3 billion in the same 12 months a year ago. North American sales moved into the black, reaching $53 million for the year, compared with an operating loss of $175.3 million in the year-ago period.
Slowed by the key U.S. economy in the second half of the fiscal year, Hitachi's consolidated sales still edged upward 2 percent, hitting $68.3 billion, up from $66.5 billion year-on-year.
The company also moved into the black during the fiscal 12 months, with operating income reaching $1.3 billion, compared with an operating loss of $977.4 million the previous year. Net income topped out at $232 million for the year, compared with a $4 billion loss 12 months earlier.
Looking to the next fiscal year, Hitachi expects sales to decrease 2 percent year-on-year, to $66.7 billion. Operating income should come in at $1.4 billion, a jump of 11 percent, while net income is expected to slide 82 percent, down to $42 million.