Japan’s PM companies post full-year results for 2019–20

June 3, 2020

The downturn in overall PM production in Japan in 2019, as reported recently in Powder Metallurgy Review, is reflected in the declining sales of the major Japanese PM producers which have now posted their full-year financial statements for April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020.  The declining sales are due to a general downturn in the global economy, particularly in the automotive sector, and have not yet included the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on production and sales within Japanese companies.

Sumitomo Electric Industries Co Ltd (SEI), Itami, Japan, reported that total group sales for the financial year to March 31, 2020, were down by 2.3% to Yen 3,107 billion compared with the previous year. Group operating income was down by 23.5% to Yen 127.2 million.  

SEI operates a number of business segments, the third largest of which is its Industrial Materials & Others division. This division incorporates the production of cemented carbides (hardmetal cutting tools and wear resistant parts), PM parts and bearings, PM magnets, plus W, Mo, heavy metal, thermal management materials, ceramics, diamond tools and hardmetals produced at its wholly-owned A.L.M.T. subsidiary.

The division reported sales of Yen 331,350 billion for the financial year, down 7.4% year-on-year. Cemented carbide sales at SEI declined by 12.3% to Yen 93 billion. Sintered PM products decreased by 4% to Yen 74.8 billion, whilst sales at A.L.M.T. decreased by 16.9% to Yen 36.6 billion.  

SEI acquired 100% of the shares of PM part producers Sinterwerke Herne GmbH (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany) and Sinterwerke Grenchen AG (Canton of Solothurn, Switzerland) in May 2019. Withthese acquisitions, SEI will strive to expand its sales channels to cover European automakers and components manufacturers and increase the presence of its PM products business in Europe.


Mitsubishi Materials Corp. (MMC) reported group consolidated net sales down 8.8% year-on-year for the full financial year to Yen 1,516 billion, and an operating profit up 3.0% to Yen 37.9 billion. The group has production and sales in forty countries worldwide and overseas sales accounted for 44.4% of consolidated net sales.

The company operates in four business segments. The Advanced Products Business segment manufactures and sells copper processed products, electronic materials and aluminium products. The Metalworking Solutions Business segment manufactures and sells carbide products and sintered products, while the Metals Business segment is involved in the smelting and sale of copper, gold and silver, and the fourth Cement Business segment produces cement, aggregate, ready-mixed concrete and concrete products.

Sales in the group’s Metalworking Solutions Business  – which includes cemented carbide (hardmetal) tools, sintered products such as PM parts and PM bearings, high-performance alloy products and superalloys – decreased by 7.6%  to Yen 665.0 billion. Cemented carbide sales and operating profit decreased as a result of declining sales both domestically and abroad, especially in China. 

In the Sintered Products segment, which operates as Diamet Corp, there was also a fall in sales. The segment reported a reduction in operating losses compared with the previous financial year, after having provided Yen 30.272 billion for restructuring of the loss-making Sintered Products business. Diamet operates PM plants in Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and China.


Hitachi Chemicals Co Ltd, which includes two main business segments, Functional Materials and Advanced Components and Systems, reported that group sales for the year were down by 7.3% to Yen 631.4 billion, compared with the same period last year. Operating income was down 36.4% to Yen 23.1 billion.

The Advanced Components & Systems division, which includes sintered friction products, structural PM parts and PM bearings as well vehicle batteries, printed circuit boards and diagnostic instruments, reported a 14.3% decrease in sales to Yen 388.2 billion with PM product sales down 10%. Hitachi Chemicals operates PM plants in Japan, USA, Mexico, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and China.


Fine Sinter Co Ltd, Kasugai, Aichi Prefecture, manufactures a wide range of Powder Metallurgy components for automotive applications, railroad vehicles and compact hydraulic equipment. Automotive products make up nearly 90% of the company’s sales.

The company reported that sales for the fiscal year 2019/2020 were down by just 0.5% to Yen 40.3 billion, compared with the same period the previous year. The company saw operating income for the year decline by 25.8% to Yen 1.205 billion.

In addition to manufacturing facilities in Japan, Fine Sinter has manufacturing subsidiaries in USA, China, Thailand and Indonesia.


Nippon Piston Ring Co Ltd (NPR), based in Saitama, Japan, manufactures PM products including piston rings and valve seats used in internal combustion engines, metal injection moulded parts and dental implants.  

NPR reported sales of Yen 54.881 billion for the fiscal year to March 31, 2020, showing a drop of 3.8% on the previous year. Operating income was down 46.6% to Yen 1.829 billion. NPR has manufacturing facilities in Japan, China, Indonesia, India and the USA.


In the latest issue of PM Review…

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Extensive Powder Metallurgy industry news coverage, and the following exclusive deep-dive articles and reports:

  • From powder modification to rejuvenation: Fluidised Bed Reactors in metal powder production and Additive Manufacturing
  • Retech: Enabling the atomisation of reactive and refractory alloys at substantially higher levels of productivity and lower cost
  • Sustainability in Powder Metallurgy: Highlights from the 41st Hagen Symposium
  • Innovations from Japan’s Powder Metallurgy industry: award winners highlight novel automotive and healthcare applications

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