Fujitsu Ltd. said Tuesday its group losses shrank considerably in the October-December quarter on a year-on-year basis, primarily due to cost-cutting and restructuring efforts.

In its quarterly consolidated earnings report, the computer manufacturer said it posted a net loss of 24.9 billion yen, having recorded a loss of 106.1 billion yen the previous year.

Group pretax loss fell to 29.2 billion yen in the period, having stood at 63.1 billion yen a year earlier, with sales down 3.9 percent to 1.02 trillion yen.

Fujitsu said sales remained sluggish as firms continued to curb spending on information technology equipment in the wake of the implosion of the IT bubble two years ago.

For the 2002 business year as a whole, the company expects to record a net loss of 110 billion yen and a pretax profit of 5 billion yen, in line with a previous forecast issued in October. The firm’s sales estimate has been cut to 4.7 trillion yen from 4.8 trillion yen.

In 2001, Fujitsu logged a net loss of 382.5 billion yen and a pretax loss of 157.1 billion yen on sales of 5.01 trillion yen.

Taiwan firm eyes unit

Fujitsu Ltd. said Tuesday that AU Optronics Corp., a Taiwan-based manufacturer of liquid crystal displays, will soon invest in a Kanagawa Prefecture-based Fujitsu subsidiary operating in the same field.

Fujitsu Display Technologies Corp. is a wholly owned subsidiary capitalized at 450 million yen. Its capital will be boosted to 1.19 billion yen in the wake of the investment maneuver involving AU Optronics.

Fujitsu will thus hold an 80 percent stake in the unit, while the Taiwan firm will hold 20 percent, the company said.

The deal is aimed at combining the Fujitsu unit’s ability in terms of product development and design with AU Optronic’s production capability, Fujitsu said.

AU Optronics and the unit will cooperate on a wide range of technological areas in an effort to expand trade and improve competitiveness, Fujitsu said.

The three companies have reached a basic agreement over the deal and are expected to sign a formal contract in March, it added.

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