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Hitachi 1st Half Media/CE Sales Increase 3%

Tokyo – Despite a lackluster global economy and slowing U.S. economy, Hitachi still was able to raise fiscal six month sales in its digital media and consumer products segment by 3 percent, hitting $4.9 billion, up from $4.8 billion in the year-ago period.

Breaking out specific products, Hitachi said that although sales of mobile phones decreased, sales of optical storage products and plasma televisions increased year-on-year. In addition, Hitachi Maxell saw audio tape and videotape sales fall during the six months, but sales of computer tape, optical media and rechargeable batteries increased.

Operating income for the digital media and consumer products segment moved into the black, even as price competition intensified in a deflationary economic environment. This was partly attributable to the benefits of structural reforms, said Hitachi. Operating income for the six months, ended Sept. 30, hit $47 million, compared with a loss of $49 million in the same period in 2001.

Overall sales in North America, however, dipped 5 percent in the first half, to $3.5 billion, down from $3.7 billion in the year-ago first half. The North American business did turn around its operating report, showing $24.8 million in income for the six months, compared with a $123.2 million loss in the year-ago period.

Consolidated net sales at Hitachi for the fiscal first half edged downward about 1 percent, reaching $31.8 billion, compared with $32.1 billion year-on-year.

Operating income move to the positive side of the ledger in the first half, hitting $502 million compared with an operating loss of $343 million in the same period in 2001.

Net income also moved into the black in the first half, reaching $104.9 million, compared with a net loss of $902.1 million in the same time frame last year.

Looking ahead, Hitachi is anticipating a 1- percent year-on-year increase in sales for the 12 months, ending in March of 2003, to $65.4 billion. Operating income is anticipated at $1.2 billion for the fiscal year, while net income is expected at $293 million for the same period.