Hitachi hard drive loss to exceed forecast
( Reuters ) - Hitachi Ltd's hard disk drive business is likely to post a bigger loss than a company forecast for the current business year, hit by sharp price falls earlier this year, the Nikkei business daily said on Saturday.
But Hitachi plans to stand by its consolidated operating profit forecast of 290 billion yen ($2.5 billion) for the year to March, thanks to brisk performances by some of its other businesses, such as construction machinery, the Nikkei said.
The report comes after sources close to the matter told Reuters this week Hitachi is considering selling a stake in the loss-making hard disk drive arm to a strategic investor.
Hitachi, Japan's biggest electronics conglomerate, has not posted a profit in its hard disk drive business since buying it from IBM for $2 billion in 2002 due to crumbling prices of disk drives.
Operating loss at the unit is expected to exceed Hitachi's forecast in May of a 33 billion yen loss for the year ending March 2008, although price declines have recently abated, the Nikkei said.
Hitachi President Kazuo Furukawa later in May said the company will continue its effort to turn the business profitable in the current business year despite the official forecast of an annual loss.