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Hitachi Q1 CE Sales Up 4%

Tokyo – Sales of optical storage products and plasma televisions led Hitachi’s surging fiscal first quarter consumer electronics sales.

As part of the company’s Digital Media and Consumer Products segment, these products helped produce an overall 4 percent CE segment sales increase in the first three months, to $2.5 billion, compared with $2.4 billion in the year-ago period.

Although sales of mobile phones decreased in the first quarter, as did sales of audio tape and video tape through Hitachi Maxell, sales of computer tapes, optical media and rechargeable batteries increased.

Reaping the benefits of what it calls ‘structural reforms,’ Hitachi’s CE segment posted operating income of $55 million in the first three months, ended June 30, compared with an operating loss of $5.6 million in the first quarter of 2001.

Overall Hitachi sales to North America in the first fiscal quarter dipped 3 percent, to $1.8 billion, down from $1.9 billion in the previous year’s first three months.

Overall sales at Hitachi in the first quarter dropped 4 percent, reaching $15.5 billion, down from $16.2 billion in the same three months last year.

But Hitachi did record operating income of $114 million in its first quarter, reversing an operating loss of $91.2 million in the year-ago three months.

The company reported a net loss of $67 million for the first quarter, down from a net loss of $284 million year over year.

First quarter results were better than Hitachi had expected, however, since the start of the second quarter, IT market uncertainty has increased, especially for personal computers and mobile phones, said the company.

Hitachi still stands by financial projections for its overall first fiscal half, announced last April. Sales for the six months, ending Sept. 30, 2002, should decline 2 percent, compared with the same six months in 2001. Operating income is expected to come in at $583 and net income at $42 million in the first half, compared with the same time frame last year.