Asahi Glass: pension funds return hits 1Q 2005 net profit

Asahi Glass posted small gains in 1Q 2005 revenue and operating profit, but saw a large fall in net profit due to an accounting factor. The comprehensive glass maker maintained its forecast for the fu…

Asahi Glass posted small gains in 1Q 2005 revenue and operating profit, but saw a large fall in net profit due to an accounting factor. The comprehensive glass maker maintained its forecast for the full year to December 2005, forecasting a 6.0% rise in net profit despite a large extraordinary gain in 2004. For the quarter to March 2005, operating profit increased 8.1% from a year earlier to JPY 32.4 billion, on revenue of JPY 358.5 billion, up 2.4%. However, net profit fell by nearly a third to JPY 23.1 billion from JPY 33.2 billion in the 1Q 2004, when the company booked an extraordinary profit of JPY 24.3 billion from the return of pension funds. Excluding that sum, Asahi Glass“ net profit would have more than doubled in the 1Q 2005. Asahi Glass attributed the 1Q 2005 gains to higher sales of glass to the automotive industry. The increase was also due to higher sales of products to the electronics industry, especially glass substrates for TFT-LCD and plasma display panels. The company reiterated its projections for the full year to December 2005, and issued additional guidance for the 1H to June 2005. For the June half, current profit, or profit before tax and extraordinary items, is forecast to increase 3.6% to JPY 67 billion. First-half revenue is forecast to rise 4.9% to JPY 750 billion from JPY 715.1 billion. However, 1H net profit is projected to fall 31% to JPY 41 billion from JPY 59.5 billion in a continuing reflection of the sizable extraordinary gain posted in last year“s 1Q. For the full year to December 2005, however, net profit is still projected to rise 6.0 % to JPY 83 billion, from JPY 78.3 billion in 2004. Current profit is forecast to rise 1.7% to JPY 138 billion, on revenue of JPY 1.55 trillion, up 5.1 % from JPY 1.475 trillion in 2004.