Hitachi Cuts HDD Losses

Hitachi said its net profit was $23.7 million, in contrast to a marginal loss in the previous year's corresponding period. The real surprise, however, was the news that it had cut its loss at the HDD operation. The improvement in its hard-disk drive business was aided by its acquisition of a major chunk of IBM's disk-drive operations.

"We had originally forecast an annual operating loss of [about $400 million] for the HDD business," said Hitachi's executive vice president Yoshiki Yagi in a statement. "But thanks to restructuring efforts, the annual loss is now expected to come in around $103.4 million."

After acquiring IBM's HDD operation a year ago for $2 billion, Hitachi said it was earmarking the business for a drive into computer and video recorder storage applications.

Overall, the firm said its turnaround was fueled largely because of growth and improvements in its semiconductor and digital media product units in both IT and consumer segments. Yagi cited mobile phones and LCD and plasma display panels as doing particularly well.

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Hitachi said it expects the improving picture to continue, noting that it is helped by the economic rebound in the U.S.

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