Asahi Glass sees operating profit down 80% in 2009

Asahi Glass Co. said 6 February 2009 its consolidated operating profit for the business year to December 2008 is expected to fall 80.5% from the previous year to JPY 30 billion, due to anticipated wea…

Asahi Glass Co. said 6 February 2009 its consolidated operating profit for the business year to December 2008 is expected to fall 80.5% from the previous year to JPY 30 billion, due to anticipated weak demand for many products. The company now forecasts a net loss of JPY 42 billion, against the previous year“s profit of JPY 39,178 million. Sales are projected to fall 23.8% to JPY 1.1 trillion. Shipments of flat glass, automotive glasses and chemical products are likely to weaken. But as shipments of glass for solar panels are expected to increase, Asahi Glass can secure operating profit, it said. The company expects a special loss of JPY 60 billion from restructuring its production systems. Capital expenditures will fall to JPY 143 billion from the previous year“s JPY 252.1 billion, while research and development outlays are set to increase to JPY 42 billion. Asahi Glass has slashed its global output of glass sheets and automotive glass by 20% and 50%, respectively, officials said, adding that other sectors are also reducing their production volumes. To take responsibility for the poor earnings, the company“s executives will give up about 10% of their monthly pay for six months from January 2009, the firm also said. For the previous year, Asahi Glass said its net profit fell 43.7%. Operating profit fell 22.0% to JPY 154,013 million, on sales of JPY 1,444,317 million, down 14.1%.