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Hitachi CE Segment Profit Triples

2/04/2004 10:08:00 AM Eastern

Tokyo — A growing market for plasma televisions and optical-disk drives, as well as sharply higher sales of mobile phones, paced growth in the digital media and consumer products segment of Hitachi during the company’s fiscal third quarter.

Sales climbed 7 percent in the three months, hitting $3.1 billion, up from $2.9 billion in the year-ago period.

Third-quarter operating income in Hitachi’s digital media and consumer products segment, primarily its consumer electronics business, more than quadrupled, reaching $106 million, compared with $26.1 million in the same three months a year ago.

For the nine months, CE segment sales edged upward 1 percent, to $8.5 billion, while operating income for the period, ended Dec. 31, increased 42 percent, to $113 million, from the year-earlier $80.5 million.

Overall Hitachi sales to North America dropped 5 percent in the third quarter, to $2.2 billion, from $2.3 billion. In the nine months, overall North American sales moved downward 2 percent, reaching $6.2 billion, from $6.3 billion.

Overseas sales for the company’s CE segment enjoyed a 10 percent increase in the third quarter, coming in at $1.2 billion, compared with $1.1 billion year-on-year.

For the nine months, CE segment overseas sales inched upward 1 percent, to $3.5 billion, from $3.4 billion.

Augmented by a strong U.S. economy, along with major contributions from improved earnings in its CE segment, Hitachi posted both a quarterly sales increase and earnings that turned red ink to black.

Consolidated sales increased 7 percent, hitting $19.1 billion in the third quarter, up from $18.2 billion in the same three months in 2002.

Consolidated operating income jumped fivefold in the third quarter, reaching $591 million, compared with $122.3 million year-over-year, while net income moved into the black, turning into a third quarter profit of $24 million, compared with a $21.5 million loss in the same three months a year ago.

For the nine months, consolidated Hitachi sales climbed 4 percent, to $56.9 billion, up from $55.3 billion. Operating income for the same period rose 12 percent, to $780 million, from $707.1 million, while net income more than doubled, to $74 million, compared with a year-earlier $32.3 million.

Hitachi projections for the fiscal year, ended in March, remain at sales of $79.5 billion, operating income of $1.6 billion and net income of $95 million.