Tokyo: Shares in Japan’s Hitachi Ltd plunged 16% on Monday after the company warned of a record $7.8 billion annual loss due to weak sales, a firmer yen and costs to restructure its sprawling operations.
Hammered by a spreading global recession, a growing number of electronics makers have been issuing loss warning, but Hitachi’s loss would be the biggest ever by a Japanese manufacturing company.
Hitachi’s automotive components business was battered by slumping car sales worldwide, while its flat-screen TV operations suffered from steep price falls amid fierce competition and anaemic demand.
The firm, Japan’s largest electronics maker with products ranging from rice cookers to nuclear reactors, said it would exit unprofitable businesses, close plants and take other restructuring steps in a bid to cut ¥200 billion ($2.2 billion) in fixed costs by March 2010.
Hitachi shares fell 16% to ¥247, underperforming a 3.8% decline in the Tokyo stock exchange’s electric machinery subindex.