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 user 2008-04-30 at 2:53:12 pm Views: 53
  • #19380

    Seiko Epson Q4 profit tumbles, new president tapped
    TOKYO, April 08 Japan’s Seiko Epson Corp  posted a 54 percent fall in quarterly operating profit on Wednesday, hit by sharp price falls in its ink-jet printers and LCD panels, and forecast a smaller-than-expected gain this year.

    Seiko Epson said that Managing Director Minoru Usui would become president in June, replacing Seiji Hanaoka, who will become chairman.Since Hanaoka took the helm in April 2005, shares in Seiko Epson have lost 29 percent as its profitability was hurt by struggling small- and medium-sized LCD display business, while the benchmark Nikkei average .N225 gained 19 percent.

    Usui, a 53-year-old engineer, joined the company in 1979 and has led Seiko Epson’s printer development operations.For the year ending March 2009, Seiko Epson forecast an operating profit of 61 billion yen ($585.8 million), up 6 percent on the year but below a consensus of 64.8 billion yen in a poll of 14 analysts by Reuters Estimates.Seiko Epson, which competes with Canon Inc  in printers and Sharp Corp  in small LCD displays, said it plans to consolidate its three LCD manufacturing plants in Japan into one to turn around its display panel business.The company posted an operating profit of 1.87 billion yen in January-March, down from 4.02 billion yen a year earlier and missing a market consensus of a 4 billion yen profit.Prior to the announcement, shares in Seiko Epson gained 2.4 percent to close at 2,810 yen, outperforming the Nikkei’s 0.3 percent fall.