The varying progress of restructuring efforts contributed to mixed performances of the country’s major chip and computer manufacturers in the first half of fiscal 1999, according to earnings reports released by Thursday.

Of the five major electronics companies, Hitachi Ltd. and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. Thursday reported consolidated pretax profits, joining Fujitsu Ltd., which released its earnings report in late October.

Hitachi posted 31.8 billion yen in pretax profits and 3.4 billion yen in net profits on sales of 3.8 trillion yen, which fell 2 percent from the same April-
September period in 1998.

The firm suffered pretax and net losses in the same period in 1998.

Yoshiki Yagi, vice president of Hitachi, attributed the profit to restructuring efforts, especially in its semiconductor business.

Mitsubishi Electric’s pretax profits came to 500 million yen — its first in three years. Mitsubishi’s sales fell 6 percent from last year to 1.68 trillion yen, and the firm posted 3.3 billion yen in net losses.

In contrast, Toshiba Corp.’s pretax losses of 65.7 billion yen in the fiscal half-year rose from 41 billion yen in losses for the same period in 1998, due to restructuring costs and the fall in memory chip prices. Similarly, NEC Corp. reported pretax losses of 58.4 billion yen.

While the sluggish demand for large computers and the domestic demand for power plant-related facilities staying low, cellular phone and liquid crystal display monitors enjoyed favorable sales during the April-September period.

Although the sharp drop in memory chip prices has severely hurt the earnings of the top electronics firms in recent years, the reports indicate the market has stabilized.

Both Hitachi and Mitsubishi expect to make profits in the semiconductor segment in the second half of the current business year.

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