Asian sales lift Kobelco

By Chris Sleight31 July 2008

Kobelco's construction machinery sales for the first quarter of the Japanese fiscal year (April to June) totalled JPY 88 billion (US$ 815 million), a +19% rise on the same period in 2007. Operating profit was up +68% to JPY 6,71 billion (US$ 62 million).

Commenting on the results, Kobelco's parent company, Kobe Steel said in a statement, "Demand for hydraulic excavators is strong in China, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Russia, however demand is going down in Japan. Demand for cranes continues to remain strong worldwide."

Like other equipment manufacturers, Kobelco contending with escalating steel prices and difficulties in sourcing key parts. "The rising cost of materials and components is a concern, and the Construction Machinery segment plans to increase sales prices," it added.

The company expects construction equipment sales for the full fiscal year to the end of March 2009 to hit JPY 395 billion (US$ 3.66 billion), a +16% rise on the revenues of JPY 340 billion (US$ 3.15 billion) achieved in fiscal 2007. Operating profit is expected to hit JPY 21 billion (US$ 194 million), a fall on the figure of JPY 22.8 billion (US$ 211 million) achieved last year.

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