Etsuhiko Shoyama, Hitachi's new president, said the company aims to return to black by the end of its next fiscal year, which ends 31 March, 2000, based on an expected recovery in earnings during the second half of the year.
The Japanese electronics firm, which has suffered during Japan's recession, is targeting an eight per cent return on equity in around four years and says that anything beyond that period was "unacceptable". It is formulating a management plan on this basis, which it expects to be able to detail within six months.
Shoyama?s comments came amid expectations that Hitachi would post an enormous loss for its 1999 fiscal year - the first since the Second World War. In February, it warned that net losses for the year ended 31 March would total Y375 billion, on sales of Y7.76 trillion. A pretax loss of Y290 billion is also expected.
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