Mitsubishi Electric first half hit by IT slump

Mitsubishi Electric, one of Japan's major electronics and semiconductor makers, barely managed to stay in profit in the first half of the current fiscal year, it announced Tuesday.

Group net income for half-year was 1.6 billion yen (US$13.4 million as of Sept. 30, the last day of the period being reported), down 98 percent from the same period a year earlier, and group net sales were 1.8 trillion yen, a fall of 7 percent.

Sales in all of the company's product divisions, barring household appliances, were down on the first half of the previous fiscal year and none dropped more than Mitsubishi Electric's electronic devices sector. That division, which includes the company's semiconductor operations, saw sales drop 25 percent to 261.7 billion yen. The information and communications division, one of the bright spots a year earlier, reported a 10.0 percent drop in sales to 390 billion yen.

Mitsubishi Electric attributed the drops, and subsequent operating losses in the electronic devices and information and communications divisions, to a "sudden and extreme downturn in IT-related demand."

Looking ahead Mitsubishi Electric had nothing but bad news to offer. Blaming the unstable global economy, the company said, "there is an increased possibility for a delayed recovery in IT-related demand and it is estimated the managerial environment for Mitsubishi Electric will become even more severe."

In response, the company revised down its full-year forecast and now expects to post group net sales of 3.9 trillion yen, which would represent a 6 percent drop on last year, and group net income of 2 billion yen, a drop of 98 percent on the previous year.

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