Asia and Americas lift Hitachi results

By Chris Sleight31 July 2012

Hitachi Construction Machinery's sales for the first quarter of the fiscal year grew +14% compared to the same period last year, to JPY 201 billion (US$ 2.57 billion). Net profits were up +123% to JPY 5.34 billion (US$ 68 million) for the April to June period.

The rise in revenues was driven by a +86% increase in sales in the Americas to JPY 31.8 billion (US$ 407 million), which the company attributed a gradual recovery in the US market and on-going demand for equipment from the rental and energy sectors.

More significant in absolute terms was the +38% rise in sales to Asia (excluding China and Japan) and Oceania, which hit JPY 69.4 billion (US$ 888 million). The company said rehabilitation work in Thailand following last year's floods was a significant factor in this, as was infrastructure building in Singapore.

The company also saw a +47% rise in sales in Africa, the CIS and Middle East for a total of JPY 16.5 billion (US$ 211 million), while domestic revenues were up +16% to JPY 42.4 billion (US$ 542 million). Hitachi said the growth in Japan was led by rehabilitation and reconstruction work following last year's earthquake.

On the down side, Hitachi's sales in China fell -45% to JPY 23.8 billion (US$ 304 million) due to the on-going market slowdown. It said measures such as cutting interest rates were yet to have a positive impact on demand for construction equipment.

Sales were also down in Europe compared to a year ago, with a -5% fall to JPY 16.8 billion (US$ 215 million), which Hitachi said was possibly due to the region's financial crisis. IT added that while demand was stead in France, Germany the UK and most of Northern Europe, markets in Southern Europe, including Italy, had seen significant falls compared to a year ago.

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