Japan Cable Makers Enjoy Higher Sales and Profits in F2006

Japanese 5 major electric cable makers enjoyed higher consolidated operating profits in fiscal 2006 ended March 2007 compared with previous year other than one of the major 6 of Fujikura. The 5 makers posted profit growth thanks to favorable sales of electric cables, telecommunication and automobile related products. On the other hand, the profitability became worse for the electronic material businesses when the unit price of electronic materials sharply declined.Sales and profits were especially favorable for the 3 cable makers in fiscal 2006, Sumitomo Electric Industries, Furukawa Electric and Hitachi Cable. Sumitomo Electric Industries marked record sales, operating and recurring profits in fiscal 2006. Furukawa Electric and Hitachi Cable also posted record sales while their operating and recurring profits were the secondly highest next to the peak of IT bubble in fiscal 2000.All of the 6 cable makers posted much higher consolidated net sales in fiscal 2006 than fiscal 2005 when copper metal price jumped up and raised the level of cable makers’ sales. Even without the surge of copper metal price, the 6 cable makers enjoyed firm sales of their products. Industrial cable demand kept steady for domestic company capital investment. Sales of Fiber-to-the-Home related products increased for both domestic and offshore markets. Sumitomo Electric Industries, Furukawa Electric, Fujikura and Mitsubishi Cable Industries enjoyed sales increase of automotive wiring harnesses. As to the electronic material businesses, the consolidated operating profit almost halved to 12.4 billion yen in fiscal 2006 from 24.7 billion yen in fiscal 2005 for Fujikura’s Electronics & Auto business unit. Fujikura was suffered from slower sales growth and worse profitability for flexible printed circuits and connectors despite of the sales volume increase of these products in fiscal 2006 when the users offered severe price down. Hitachi Cable reported 4 billion yen of negative impact on operating profit in fiscal 2006 due to price down mainly for its electronic materials. The firm is estimated to lose operating profit of 7 billion yen in fiscal 2007 with more price down of the electronic products. In Japan depreciation rules were revised effective in fiscal 2007. Without the effect of this tax system revision, Sumitomo Electric Industries is estimated to post consolidated operating profit of 135 billion yen in fiscal 2007 actually, Furukawa Electric 56.3 billion yen, Fujikura 34 billion yen and Hitachi Cable 20 billion yen. Their operating profits will increase or almost keep the same level compared with fiscal 2006.