Kobelco's SK260LC-9 excavator

Kobelco's SK260LC-9 excavator

Half-year results, to September 2015, from Japanese steel firm Kobe Steel show a decrease in sales of 13.4% for its subsidiary, Kobelco Construction Machinery, compared with the same period in 2014.

The company cited a fall in sales of its hydraulic excavators, during the first half of the fiscal year, reporting saturation of replacement demand in Japan and a drastic decline in sales in China and Southeast Asia, due to general economic slowdown.

Consolidated sales for Kobelco Construction Machinery decreased to 147 billion yen (US$ 1.22 billion), while ordinary income fell 16.6 billion yen (US$ 137 million) in the same period, an ordinary loss of 400 million yen (US$ 3.32 million).

Results for another Kobe subsidiary, Kobelco Cranes, were positive, with the report stating domestic demand for crawler cranes was remaining steady.

Consolidated segment sales in the first fiscal half of 2015 showed an increase of 8.8%, or 39.0 billion yen (US$ 324 million), compared with the same period last year.

The report stated, however, that ordinary income for Kobelco Cranes had decreased by 700 million yen to 2.4 billion yen, due to higher expenses for maintenance and product improvements.

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