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Hitachi expects FY 2019 profit to rebound after UK project halt

Visitors walk past the Hitachi Ltd. booth at the CEATEC Japan 2018 consumer electronics show in Chiba, on Oct. 16, 2018. (Getty/Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Hitachi Ltd. said Friday it expects group net profit to nearly double for the current business year after dropping nearly 40% the preceding year on a special loss linked to its decision to halt a nuclear plant project in Britain.

The Japanese manufacturer of information and infrastructure systems projects that its group net profit will rise 95.5 percent to 435 billion yen ($3.89 billion) in the year ending March 2020.

Its operating profit will increase 1.3 percent to 765 billion yen on sales of 9.0 trillion yen, down 5.1 percent, on a consolidated basis.

In the fiscal year ended March, Hitachi reported group net profit of 222.55 billion yen, down 38.7 percent from a year earlier.

The company said it booked a special loss of about 290 billion yen after it decided in January to halt a 3 trillion yen project to build two nuclear reactors in Anglesey, Wales.

Hitachi posted group operating profit of 754.98 billion yen, up 5.6 percent, on group sales of 9.48 trillion yen, up 1.2 percent.

The Hitachi group has been streamlining operations to focus more on its core business in the field of infrastructure and information technology.

The company is considering selling a 51 percent stake in Hitachi Chemical Co., one of the group's subsidiaries listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange with a market capitalization of more than 600 billion yen, according to a source close to the matter.

"We are considering all options at any time to boost synergy effects in our group," Hitachi Chief Financial Officer Mitsuaki Nishiyama said at a press conference. He declined to comment on the sale of Hitachi Chemical.

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