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Hitachi Ltd., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. all posted record consolidated losses in fiscal 2001, according to earnings reports released Friday.

Their misery mirrors that of rival electronics manufacturers Toshiba Corp., Fujitsu Ltd. and NEC Corp., all of which reported huge fiscal 2001 losses on Thursday.

Hitachi, Matsushita and Mitsubishi attributed their results to a sharp decline in global demand for semiconductors and information technology-related products such as mobile phones.

Matsushita reported consolidated operating losses for the first time since it went public in 1949. They came to 211.81 billion yen, marking a striking turnaround from the consolidated operating profits of 188.4 billion yen it logged the previous year.

The firm also incurred consolidated pretax losses of 548.01 billion yen, compared with the consolidated pretax profits of 100.74 billion yen it achieved a year earlier.

Its consolidated net losses came to 431.01 billion yen, down from the previous year’s consolidated net profits of 41.5 billion yen, while its group sales fell 10.5 percent to 6.88 trillion yen.

Testsuya Kawakami, who serves as a board member and as director in charge of Matsushita’s financial affairs, cited the global IT slump, the stagnant domestic economy and increased restructuring costs as major factors underscoring the losses.

The firm wrote off around 250 billion yen in losses to cover restructuring costs.

Among these costs were expenses related to the regrouping of Matsushita’s group business units and allowances paid to 13,000 group employees who entered its early retirement program.

Hitachi also posted record losses in fiscal 2001.

It logged consolidated operating losses of 117.42 billion yen, marking a sharp decline from the consolidated operating profits of 342.31 billion yen it chalked up in fiscal 2000.

Its consolidated pretax losses came to 586.07 billion yen, having posted consolidated pretax profits of 323.66 billion yen the previous year.

The firm also reported consolidated net losses of 483.84 billion yen, in stark contrast to the previous year’s consolidated net profits of 104.38 billion yen.

Its group sales came to 7.99 trillion yen, down 5 percent from a year earlier.

Meanwhile, Mitsubishi posted its largest losses since it first disclosed its consolidated earnings figures in 1969.

The firm incurred consolidated operating losses of 68.03 billion yen, having logged consolidated operating profits of 195.39 billion yen the previous year.

Its consolidated pretax losses came to 155.14 billion yen, compared with consolidated pretax profits of 210.44 billion yen achieved a year earlier.

It reported consolidated net losses of 77.97 billion yen, marking a drastic plunge from the previous year’s consolidated net profits of 124.79 billion yen.

Its group sales dropped 11.6 percent to 3.65 trillion yen.

Matsushita, Hitachi and Mitsubishi all expect to return to profitability in fiscal 2001, however.

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