Nippon Sheet Glass expects group pretax profit up 25%

Nippon Sheet Glass Co Ltd expects a 25% rise in consolidated pretax profit to JPY 15 billion in the year to March 2006, due to robust sales of lenses for printers and growing demand for glass substrat…

Nippon Sheet Glass Co Ltd expects a 25% rise in consolidated pretax profit to JPY 15 billion in the year to March 2006, due to robust sales of lenses for printers and growing demand for glass substrates for LCD panels, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported, citing company president Katsuji Fujimoto. Nippon Sheet Glass sees net profit up 29% to JPY9 billion, as it intends to raise prices by 5-10% to offset higher fuel and materials costs, the business daily said. Higher materials costs caused a fall in net profit of about JPY 2 billion for the year to March 2005, the newspaper said, without providing further details of its results for the past financial year. Sales are expected to rise just 1% to JPY 260 billion as the sale of an insulating firebrick subsidiary in August 2004 meant the loss of JPY 2.5 billion in revenue, the business daily said. The company“s sheet glass business introduced a new furnace at its Malaysian plant in March 2005 to meet rising demand for construction glass in Southeast Asia, and it expects sales to rise, the report said. In its information technology business, Nippon Sheet Glass plans to increase manufacturing capacity of optical lenses for printers by about 70% in April 2005 and make up for depressed prices through higher output, the Nikkei said. The prices of glass substrates for cellphones and LCD televisions are falling due to temporary oversupply, but “within half a year, the balance of supply and demand will improve, and the division will be able to raise operating profit,” the Nikkei quoted Fujimoto as saying.