Asahi Glass Net Falls on Waning Demand From Builders

Asahi Glass Co., Asia's largest glassmaker, said first-half profit fell 9 percent as demand waned from builders and carmakers and without the benefit a one-time gain earned the previous year.

Net income fell to 48 billion yen ($444 million), or 41.07 yean a share, in the six months ended March 31 from 52.9 billion yen, or 45.07 yen, a year earlier, the Tokyo-based company said today in a statement through the city's stock exchange. Sales slid 4 percent to 774.1 billion yen.

Asahi Glass kept its annual profit forecast unchanged at 100 billion yen, a 44 percent increase from last year. First-half operating profit for the company, the world's second-largest maker of glass for liquid-crystal displays, rose 21 percent to 109.6 billion yen on demand from flat-screen television makers.

The company suspended some shipments of glass used in liquid-crystal displays at its Takasago plant after molten glass leaked from one of the plant's two furnaces on July 29, damaging a wall at the plant, Yoshihiko Saitou, a spokesman for Tokyo-based Asahi Glass, said today by telephone.

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