Hitachi says quarterly profit plunges by 41 percent due to slack demand


TOKYO — Japan’s Hitachi said Monday that its quarterly profit plunged 41 percent, pointing to weaker demand for construction machinery and automotive equipment for the hit to its earnings. The conglomerate, whose products range from diggers to nuclear reactors, said it earned 20.2 billion yen (US$217.8 million) in its third quarter to December, down from 34.2 billion yen a year earlier. Sales slipped 7 percent to 2.11 trillion yen, it said. For the nine months to December, Hitachi said net profit was down to 50.3 billion yen from 85.1 billion yen a year earlier.