A number of Japanese conglomerates with significant PM part and cemented carbide operations have published their financial results for the year ending March 31, 2011.
The results do not yet reflect the impact of the tragic earthquake and tsunami in north east Japan in mid-March and nearly all of the Japanese companies in the sector are offering cautious estimates for the current 2011 financial year. Japan has already announced that the country has slipped back into a temporary recession through decrease in manufacturing output and a decline in consumer spending.
Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd (SEI)
SEI reported net sales of Yen 2,033.8 billion ($25.5 billion) for the financial year 2010, an increase of 10.7% over the previous year. Operating income increased to Yen 103.8 billion ($1.3 billion), up from Yen 51,728 million ($648 million) in 2009. The Industrial Materials Division which includes PM parts, cemented carbide and A.L.M.T.’s production of hard materials/diamond tools, recorded sales of Yen 227.5 billion ($2.8 billion), an increase of 21.6%.
Mitsubishi Materials Corp. (MMC)
MMC which covers a wide spectrum of industrial materials including cement, copper, aluminium, advanced materials, cutting tools, and electronic materials, reported a 19.1% gain for the full year to March 31, 2011 with sales put at Yen 1,334 billion ($16.7 billion). Operating income increased to Yen 56 billion ($707 million) compared with a loss of Yen 9.5 billion ($119 million) in 2009. The Advanced Materials & Tools division, which includes PM parts, cemented carbide and diamond tools, reported a 42% increase in sales revenue.
Hitachi Chemicals Ltd
The third major PM producer, Hitachi Powdered Metals Ltd, is part of the Hitachi Chemicals group of companies which reported an increase of 9.3% in sales to Yen 497.5 billion ($6.2 billion) for the 2010/2011 financial year. Operating income increased by 13.4% to Yen 43.5 billion ($544 million). The sales of the ‘Advanced Components & Systems’ division, which includes sintered components, sintered friction materials, capacitors and printed circuit boards, increased by 14.4% to Yen 245.5 billion ($3 billion).
Nippon Piston Ring Ltd (NPR)
NPR is a leading producer of engine parts including PM piston rings, valve guides, valve seat inserts and rocker arms (also MIM). The company reported a 21.4% increase in sales to March 31, 2011 reaching Yen 47.4 billion ($594 million) with a doubling of ordinary profits to Yen 3.3 billion ($41 million). NPR has PM production bases in the USA, China, Korea, and Thailand.