Komatsu Ltd. last week announced its business results for the first quarter of 2009. Net sales in the quarter were 320.4 billion yen (about U.S. $3.36 billion), a 47.2-percent decline compared with 606.8 billion yen (U.S. $6.37 billion) in the first quarter of 2008. Operating income in the quarter was 8.2 billion yen (U.S. $86.1 million), a 90.1-percent decline from 83.2 billion yen (U.S. $873.6 million) in the first quarter of 2008.
Overall demand for construction and mining equipment remained sluggish, except for China with recovery momentum supported by the economic stimulus package and for Indonesia with signs of recovery. First-quarter sales dropped 46.7 percent and segment profit dropped 90.5 percent from the previous first quarter, particularly due to the Japanese yen’s appreciation from the previous first quarter and large-scale adjustment of production continued from last year to improve inventories to appropriate levels.
While sales declined 10 percent from the previous fourth quarter (Jan. 1 - March 31), segment profit turned into the black supported by fixed cost reduction and other efforts.
Komatsu is based in Tokyo, with U.S. headquarters in Rolling Meadows, Ill.