Asahi Glass Sees Net Profit Doubling In 2007

Reuters reported that Asahi Glass Co. Ltd. (5201.T: Quote, NEWS , Research), Japan's largest glass maker, said on Monday it expected its net profit to double in 2007 due to strong demand for glass used in flat panel displays and an end to losses on glass for tube TVs.

The company, which competes with Corning Inc. (GLW.N: Quote, Profile , Research) and Nippon Sheet Glass Co. (5202.T: Quote, NEWS , Research), also announced plans to shut a sheet glass factory in New Jersey due to a slowing United States housing market and rising costs for fuel such as natural gas.

Group net profit at Asahi Glass slid 25 percent to 45 billion yen ($373 million) in 2006 due mainly to a 46 billion yen special loss to dissolve overseas subsidiaries and other restructuring steps in its loss-making cathode-ray tube (CRT) business.

Asahi Glass President Masahiro Kadomatsu told a news conference that he would not hesitate to pull out of the CRT glass business if it continues to lose money, though he is aiming for a recovery this year.

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