Hitachi Ltd. reported a 5-percent profit decline for the fiscal first half. For the 6 months ended Sept. 30, Hitachi reported it earned 5.38 billion yen (U.S. $50 million), down from 5.67 billion yen a year ago. Sales rose 3 percent to 4 trillion yen ($37 million) from 3.9 trillion yen a year earlier.
Hitachi said a slump in its information and communications systems business and its digital media and consumer electronics division hurt profits. Losses from the hard disk drive operations Hitachi bought from IBM last year also hurt earnings, it said.
Hitachi blamed deflation, a steady decline in prices that has plagued the Japanese economy for years. Tumbling prices have battered profits for Japanese companies and electronics makers have been moving manufacturing overseas, where labor is cheaper. (Reuters)
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