Asahi Glass reports first net loss

Japanese Asahi Glass Co. said on 20 May that it posted a group net loss of JPY 12.61 billion in the fiscal year to 31 March, the first bottom-line loss it has experienced since going public in 1950. T…

Japanese Asahi Glass Co. said on 20 May that it posted a group net loss of JPY 12.61 billion in the fiscal year to 31 March, the first bottom-line loss it has experienced since going public in 1950. The major glassmaker attributed the poor earnings to extraordinary losses associated with structural reforms. It logged a group net profit of JPY 24.72 billion in 2000. Asahi Glass said group pretax profit fell 54.6% to JPY 44.47 billion in fiscal 2001, with sales declining 3.8% to JPY 1,263.20 billion. The company said it increased efforts to improve earnings by cutting costs and eliminating unprofitable businesses, but the efforts were overwhelmed by weakening demand in information technology-related sectors. The company said it intends to pay a full-year dividend of JPY 9 per share, including an interim dividend of JPY 4.5 paid already. It paid the same full-year dividend a year earlier. For the current fiscal year to 31 March 2003, Asahi Glass forecast a group net profit of JPY 28 billion and a group pretax profit of JPY 45 billion on sales of JPY 1,280 billion.