Hitachi Net Income Jumps on Global Auto Parts Demand

Hitachi Ltd., Japan’s second-biggest manufacturer, more than doubled profit in the first quarter as it benefited from a rebound in global car parts demand and spending on recovery from the 2011 earthquake.

Net income gained to 7 billion yen ($89 million) in the three months ended June 30, from 2.9 billion yen a year earlier, the Tokyo-based maker of electric power generation gear, auto parts and electronics, said in a statement today.

Hitachi, which sold its stake in Elpida Memory Inc. in March after divesting its hard-drive business last year, said the company was supported by higher public works spending to help reconstruction after the magnitude 9 earthquake and ensuing tsunami on March 11, 2011, according to the statement. Exports “struggled” as global economic growth slowed and the yen appreciated, it said.

The maker of nuclear reactors, train cars and air-conditioners, last week won a 4.5 billion pound ($7 billion) U.K. train order along with John Laing.

Hitachi rose 0.4 percent to 456 yen at the close of trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange today. The shares have advanced 13 percent this year, compared with a 2.1 percent increase in the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average.

Operating profit gained to 63.6 billion yen in the first quarter from 52.4 billion yen a year earlier, according to the statement.

Profit from power systems, which accounted for about 35 percent of revenue last fiscal year, was 2.4 billion yen in the quarter, while sales rose 15 percent to 190.5 billion yen. A decline in sales of nuclear power generation systems was offset by stronger performance in thermal power gear, the company said.

The company left its forecast for full-year net income unchanged at 200 billion yen.

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