Asahi Glass cuts next fiscal year group net profit outlook to Y45 billion

Asahi Glass Co . slashed its profit forecasts for the fiscal year starting April 2003 , citing a weaker outlook for its electronics and display operations.

The major Japanese comprehensive glass maker now aims for a group net profit of Y45 billion and an operating profit of Y95 billion on revenue of Y1.34 trillion next fiscal year.Last April, the firm said it expected a group net profit of Y73 billion and an operating profit of Y160 billion on revenue of Y1.6 trillion.The company's revision reflects a severe downturn in the global technology industry last year.Demand for optical-related parts and glass used in a wide- range of electronic devices dropped sharply in line with sluggish sales of personal computers, cathode-ray tubes, or CRT, monitors and mobile phone handsets.

(This story was originally published by Dow Jones Newswires)

Asahi Glass also revealed for the first time its earnings forecast for the fiscal year ending March 2003.

This fiscal year, the company aims for a group net profit of Y28 billion and an operating profit of Y60 billion on revenue of Y1.28 trillion.

In January, Asahi Glass trimmed its earnings estimate for last fiscal year to cover the cost of a series of business restructuring measures.

The company expects to post a group net loss of Y9 billion and an operating profit of Y57 billion on revenue of Y1.26 trillion for the just-ended year.

In its revised latest earnings target for next fiscal year, Asahi Glass cut its profit goals in all of its main three business segments - glass, electronics and display, and chemical, a company spokesman said.

The company halved its group operating profit outlook in its electronics and display business to Y35 billion.

Next fiscal year, Asahi Glass is targeting a group operating profit of Y55 billion in its glass business and an operating profit of Y4 billion in its chemical business, compared with its previous forecasts of Y64 billion and Y24 billion, respectively, the spokesman said.

The company also lowered its return-on-equity goal for the next fiscal year to a ratio in 7%-levels from 10% earlier.

Asahi Glass said it will try to achieve a ROE of 10% during its mid-term business plan for fiscal 2003 to fiscal 2005.

The company's earnings goals were released after the stock market closed.

On the Tokyo Stock Exchange Monday, Asahi Glass' shares finished down 0.6% at Y801, while the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average ended 0.03% higher.

600450 Asahi Glass cuts next fiscal year group net profit outlook to Y45 billion

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