Japan’s Hitachi boosts half-year profit estimate citing recovery from quake


TOKYO — Japanese high-tech firm Hitachi on Wednesday revised its half-year net profit forecast five times higher, citing a smooth recovery from the March earthquake and tsunami. Hitachi now estimates its net profit for the six months to September at 50 billion yen (US$658 million), up from a previous forecast of 10 billion yen. The company also raised its projection of operating profit to 170 billion yen from 100 billion yen and sales to 4.55 trillion yen from 4.40 trillion. The upbeat revision boosted shares in Hitachi on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, despite a stronger yen threatening the repatriated profits of exporting firms.

Hitachi gained 3.66 percent to 424 yen, outperforming a declining Nikkei index.

Like many other Japanese firms, Hitachi — whose products range from microchips to nuclear power equipment — reported damage to its production facilities and electricity supply problems after the March 11 disaster.