Hitachi Ltd. said Wednesday it expects a record net profit of 370 billion yen ($3.5 billion) in the business year through March, up from the previous estimate of 300 billion yen released in October, due to robust demand for IT-related services and the sale of its chemical unit.

The Japanese industrial conglomerate said it has raised fiscal 2020 estimates for its operating profit to 420 billion yen and sales to 8.3 trillion yen, from the earlier projections of 400 billion yen and 7.94 trillion yen, respectively.

"Our information technology business firmly grew as we have provided a wide range of solutions for our customers' shift to digitalization amid the coronavirus pandemic," Hitachi Chief Financial Officer Yoshihiko Kawamura said in an online press conference.

In the nine-month period to December, Hitachi's net profit soared more than five-fold to 307.88 billion yen from the previous year. Operating profit fell 28.9 percent to 316.91 billion yen, on sales of 5.98 trillion yen, down 5.8 percent.

The company already booked a special profit of 278.8 billion yen from the sale of its chemical unit, formerly known as Hitachi Chemical Co., to Showa Denko K.K. in the April-June quarter, which will largely push up the company's full-year bottom line to a record high.

Kawamura said recovering demand for Hitachi elevators and auto parts in China also substantially contributed to its earnings along with a steady pickup in the world's second-largest economy.

The company continues its restructuring efforts, focusing on its core businesses such as IT-related and infrastructure operations and seeking to sell more noncore businesses.

It is considering selling all or part of its stake in its subsidiary Hitachi Metals Ltd., but Kawamura said the group has yet to make any decision.


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