By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Casio Computer has revised downward its group earnings forecast for its fiscal first half and full year. The company attributes the lower numbers to worse-than-expected business environments.
For the first half, through September 30, the digital watch and consumer electronics maker said it expects a net profit of $5 million, down from the $26.6 million estimated this past May. Pretax profit for the first six months now is expected to be $8.3 million, down from the earlier projected $50 million. Sales for the six months remain unchanged from earlier forecasts, at $1.8 billion.
For the full year through March 31, 2002, Casio forecasts a net profit of $12.5 million, down from the earlier projected $58.3 million. Estimated pretax profit for the fiscal 12 months of $29.1 million is down from the earlier projected $108.3 million. Sales are expected to hit $3.6 billion for the 12 months, down from the earlier projected $3.8 billion.
Casio said its watch and high-tech equipment businesses are performing relatively well, but the company finds it hard to gain projected earnings in its mobile network solutions business, a project related to wireless communications operations, due to the worldwide slump in this sector.
"We're having the same difficulties here, mainly due to a weak economy," said Gary Rado, president of Casio, the U.S. subsidiary of parent Casio Computer, in reference to the downward financial revisions coming out of Casio in Japan. "We're not hitting our forecast numbers, and we're going to have to retrench," said Rado.
Looking at the second half of its fiscal year, the Dover, N.J.-based Casio is "not looking for any huge recovery, given the weak economy. We'll profile according to that," said Rado.
Rado said Casio is pinning its U.S. hopes in the second half on a number of new products. These include a pocket personal computer, the E-200; a black and white watch camera that goes to color on a PC; and the Cassiopeia Pocket Manager BE-300, said to be the first Windows powered PDA with a color screen at under $300 retail.
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