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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. said Wednesday its group net balance in the first half to Sept. 30 returned to the black, thanks mainly to a sizable decrease in latent losses on securities holdings.

Such losses shrank to 2.51 billion yen from 15.37 billion yen a year earlier, it said.

Net profit for the first half of the 2002 business year came to 602 million yen, a positive turnaround from a loss of 8.26 billion yen in the same period a year earlier, according to the maker of heavy machinery, ships and aerospace machinery.

MHI said it increased capital gains from the sale of securities holdings in the period to 3.28 billion yen from 2.22 billion yen, lifting net profit.

Group pretax profit for the period slipped 6.2 percent to 2.6 billion yen on a 13 percent fall in sales to 1.09 trillion yen.

MHI also attributed the pretax profit fall to a 19.3 billion yen foreign exchange loss on its overseas earnings due to the yen’s rise against the dollar.

The company said it will pay a midterm dividend of 3 yen per share, up from 2 yen, and a full-year dividend of 6 yen, up from 4 yen.

MHI said the midterm results were not affected by damages and expenses related to an Oct. 1 fire at its Nagasaki shipyard that damaged a 113,000-ton luxury cruise ship it was building, because they cannot yet be determined.

MHI had landed an order from Britain’s P&O Princess Cruises PLC to build the Diamond Princess luxury liner. Following the fire, the two firms agreed to continue construction of the ship.

MHI has said the fire-related loss will not cause significant damage to its future earnings because it has an insurance agreement that covers all reconstruction work on the vessel.

MHI forecasts a group net profit of 45 billion yen for the full year, up from 26.45 billion yen, and a pretax profit of 80 billion yen, up from 67.99 billion yen, on projected sales of 2.63 trillion yen, down from 2.86 trillion yen.

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