Business / Corporate

Hitachi CEO promises to prioritize profitability in U.K. nuclear power plant project

JIJI

Hitachi Ltd. will put profitability first in a nuclear plant construction project in the United Kingdom, President and CEO Toshiaki Higashihara told shareholders Wednesday.

The machinery-maker will base any decision about the project on economic rationale and take the concerns of its shareholders into account, Higashihara said. The project is expected to cost some ¥3 trillion.

Hitachi officials told the shareholders that the company will reduce risk connected to its wholly owned British nuclear unit by reducing its stake in the subsidiary to less than 50 percent through the solicitation of outside investment.

They also said the company plans to aim for further growth by expanding businesses abroad, including railway operations.

Hitachi shareholders approved the appointments of 12 board members, including Higashihara and Chairman Hiroaki Nakanishi.

Nakanishi recently became the first Hitachi executive to assume the post of chairman at Keidanren, Japan’s largest business lobby.