Japan's Hitachi posts $4-B 9-month loss

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Feb 03 2009 03:08 PM | Updated as of Feb 03 2009 11:23 PM

TOKYO - Japanese high-tech giant Hitachi reported Tuesday a $4-billion net loss for the nine months to December and maintained its forecast to end the year deep in the red.

Hitachi Ltd. reported a loss of 356.9 billion yen for the first three quarters of the fiscal year, against a year-earlier loss of 559 million yen.

The electronics and engineering giant, which is slashing up to 7,000 jobs, is bracing for a 700-billion-yen loss for the full financial year to March as the global economic slowdown crushes demand for electronic goods.

Japan's export-dependent companies have also been hit hard by a strong yen, which reduces the value of their overseas earnings.

Hitachi said it made a net loss of 371 billion yen in the fiscal third quarter to December, more than wiping out profits made earlier in the year.

Other Japanese electronics makers including Sony, Toshiba, NEC and Fujitsu have also reported losses due to the economic crisis.