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Hitachi Raises Profit Outlook as Automotive Parts Gain

(Corrects to say Hitachi is Japan’s second-largest manufacturer by employees.)

Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Hitachi Ltd., Japan’s second-largest manufacturer by employees, raised its annual profit forecast on higher sales from its automotive parts, information-technology systems and infrastructure businesses.

The company expects a net income of 215 billion yen ($2.1 billion) for the year ending March 31, compared with an earlier forecast of 210 billion yen, Tokyo-based Hitachi said in a statement today. The average estimate of 22 analysts compiled by Bloomberg was for an annual profit of 238 billion yen.

Sales will probably increase to 9.4 trillion yen this fiscal year, compared with a previous prediction of 9.2 trillion yen, Hitachi said today. The company has merged units, pared costs and cut television output as it focuses on expanding its infrastructure business.

Shares of Hitachi fell 4.8 percent to close at 749 yen on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Hitachi has over the past three years sold its hard-disk drive business and announced plans to merge the energy-equipment businesses with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. It is also setting up a factory in the U.K. to build trains after winning a tender in the country in 2012.

The company has also said it will consider mergers and acquisitions to expand its business.

To contact the reporters on this story: Chris Cooper in Tokyo at ccooper1@bloomberg.net; Kiyotaka Matsuda in Tokyo at kmatsuda@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anand Krishnamoorthy at anandk@bloomberg.net

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