Japan 5 Major Special Steel Makers Post Lower Profit for F2006

Japanese 5 special steel makers out of 6 major makers renewed record sales for fiscal 2006 ended March 2007 under firm automobile demand and higher selling price. However, 5 makers posted lower recurring profit due to higher raw materials cost and output reduction. Five makers expect slight higher or lower recurring profit for fiscal 2007. Their annual sales increased by 4-12% for fiscal 2006 from fiscal 2005. Hitachi Metals’ sales of high valued metal products increased by 11% to 273.6 billion yen. Daido Steel’s sales of special steel increased by 8.3% to 287.8 billion yen. Aichi Steel’s steel sales increased by 9% to 128.1 billion yen. Sanyo Special Steel’s steel sales increased by 6.5% to 132.4 billion yen. Mitsubishi Steel Mfg.’s special steel sales increased by 2.7% to 60.3 billion yen. Nihon Koshuha’s special steel sales increased by 13.8% to 37 billion yen. The offshore sales increased by 12% to 259.4 billion yen for Hitachi Metals, by 11.6% to 68.7 billion yen for Daido Steel, by 1.5% to 1.5% to 39.2 billion yen for Aichi Steel, by 23.3% to 22.9 billion yen for Sanyo Special Steel and by 25.2% to 4.8 billion yen for Nihon Koshuha in fiscal 2006 from fiscal 2005. They expect higher sales with higher sales volume and selling price under lower inventory condition in fiscal 2007 from fiscal 2006. Hitachi Metals, Daido Steel, Aichi Steel, Mitsubishi Steel Mfg. and Nihon Koshuha expect higher recurring profit while Sanyo Special Steel expects lower recurring profit. Aichi Steel and Mitsubishi Steel Mfg. increased the dividend by 1 yen per share for fiscal 2006 from previous year while other 4 firms kept the dividend. The 6 major makers expect the dividend will be flat for fiscal 2007.