Hoya expecting record sales, profits for FY 2003

Japanese optical products maker Hoya Corp. said 21 January 2004 that it expects group sales and profits to reach record highs in the year ending in March 2004, boosted by rising demand for digital pro…

Japanese optical products maker Hoya Corp. said 21 January 2004 that it expects group sales and profits to reach record highs in the year ending in March 2004, boosted by rising demand for digital products. Group net profit is estimated at JPY 37 billion, up 84.7% from the previous year, and recurring profit at JPY 64.1 billion, up 26.0%. Group sales are forecast at JPY 269 billion, up 9.2 %. Driving the growth predictions are strongs sales of lenses for digital cameras and semiconductor-related products. Hoya did not disclose its dividend plan for the October-March 2H of the current financial year. Because of the strong earnings forecast, it is thought the company will be able to raise its annual dividends from the previous year“s level of JPY 50 per share. It already paid JPY 50 in 1H dividends, double the amount offered a year before. In the October-December 2003 3Q, Hoya reported a group net profit of JPY 10,419 million, a record high on a quarterly basis and a spectacular recovery from the year-before loss of JPY 2,125 million attributable to a JPY 18 billion special loss. Third quarter sales totaled JPY 68,688 million, up 11.5 % from a year earlier. The company“s main plants operated at maximum output capacity thanks to robust demand for photomasks, which are used in the manufacturing of semiconductors and liquid crystal parts, glass disks for hard disk drives and optical products for digital cameras. Hoya suffered a sales decline for eyeglass lenses in its domestic market although this was more than offset by strong sales in Europe and Asia.