Utility, telecoms boost Hitachi profits

(Associated Press via NewsEdge) Japanese electronics maker Hitachi said its net profit for the three months through December surged nearly tenfold as its power plant, hardware and telecommunications businesses recovered.

Net profit rose to 12.5 billion yen ($116.9 million) during the October-December quarter from 1.26 billion yen ($11 million) in the same period the previous year.

Group sales rose nearly 10% to 2.71 trillion yen ($25.35 billion), from 2.49 trillion yen a year ago, the company said. Operating profit rose 27% to 77.9 billion yen ($728.7 million) from 61.56 billion yen ($573 million).

Hitachi's information and telecommunications operations returned to profitability on booming sales of software and hard disk drives.

'Significant improvement' in electric power business, as well as automobile parts, elevators and construction equipment contributed to the revenue growth during the quarter, the company said.

But it booked an operating loss of 15 billion yen ($140.32 million) in the consumer electronics and digital media division, though that was narrower than the loss of 19 billion a year earlier.

Hitachi, Japan's biggest electronics conglomerate by sales, lowered its net profit outlook for the fiscal year to March 31 due to a planned additional investment of 30 billion yen ($280.6 million) in a liquid crystal display business to produce flat-panel TVs, an attempt to stay competitive in the market.

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