Hitachi Cable, Ltd. Business Report FY2009

Business Highlights

Financial Overview

(in millions of JPY)
  FY2009 FY2008 Rate of
Sales 372,450 493,151 (24.5) -
Operating income (6,381) (14,740) - -
Ordinary income (4,939) (19,974) - -
Net income (9,110) (53,775) - -
Wires and cables
Sales 181,810 253,028 (28.1) -Although sales of winding wires were on the road to recovery, especially in the electric components segment that includes products for hybrid cars, total sales decreased. 
Operating income (139) (2,058) - -
Supplicated materials
Sales 139,510 177,822 (21.5) -In the automotive components business, the Company enjoyed brisk sales of  in-car sensors. Brake hoses, its mainstay products, also headed for a recovery in the second half as a result of customers adjusting their current inventories. However, total sales decreased due to flagging sales in the first two quarters.
Operating income (7,826) (17,284) - -

Recent Developments in Japan

-The Company announced that it has started commercial production of crude-processed, rolled copper foil, which is used in products such as negative electrode collectors of lithium-ion batteries. Prior to the production launch, the Company installed new surface treatment equipment at its Tsuchiura plant, ensuring a monthly production volume of 500,000 square meters. Rolled copper foil is made by rolling cast copper ingots. The material, which offers improved flexing properties and intensity than electrolytic copper foil, is also used in flexible printed-circuit boards. Installation of the surface finishing facility will expand the Company's rolled copper foil business, enhancing its product quality and cost competitiveness through the integrated production structure. The Company, which offers a wide variety of rolled copper foil including that made of oxygen-free copper and high strength copper alloy, will further expand its lineup by responding to the surface finishing requirements of each customer. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on Dec. 2, 2009)

Recent Developments outside Japan

-The Company is set to step up reforming its operational structure centered on the automotive business sector. Consolidation of manufacturing facilities in North America for automotive brake hoses and wire harnessed planned for fiscal 2011 will be moved up to the first half of fiscal 2010, reducing the number of North American production bases from 5 to 3. The Company is focusing its management resources on development of power supply harnesses for hybrid vehicles in expectation of future growth of demand with the aim of raising profitability of high performance materials business for automotive related products. The company now has production bases in Indiana, Florida and Mexico. Manufacture of brake hoses and wire harnesses at two locations in Indiana will be ceased and be switched to production of high performance products like large capacity power supply harnesses used for hybrids and electric vehicles. It considers the decline in demand already hit the bottom during the 3rd and 4th quarters in 2008. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on May 14, 2009)

-The Company announced that it has offloaded part of its stake in Thai Wire & Cable Services Co., Ltd., its joint-venture company in Thailand. The shares were transferred to Hayakawa Densen, its joint-venture partner, and Thai Wire & Cable Services no longer operates as the Company's affiliate under the equity method. The joint venture company manufactures and processes wires and wire parts for electronic devices. Before the share transaction, the Company and Hayakawa Densen each owned forty-five percent of the Thai company's shares. The Company has sold a 37 percent share to Hayakawa, which reduced the percentage of its shareholding to 8 percent. The Company, which is suffering from the impact of the rapidly deteriorating economy, has decided to sell off its shares in line with its initiatives to streamline its operations. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on Mar. 29, 2009)

>>>Financial Forecast for the Next Fiscal Year (Sales, Operating Income etc.)


R&D Expenditure

(in millions of JPY)
  FY2009 FY2008 FY2007
Group 9,612 11,078 10,526
Wires and cables 1,404 1,500 1,628
Supplicated materials 3,282 4,292 4,535

R&D Structure

-The Company conducts its R&D activities at its technical headquarters (technical center) and at the development departments in its business headquarters.

-Maintains close cooperation and collaboration with R&D centers in the Hitachi Group, of course including Hitachi itself. On occasion, it conducts joint research with R&D centers operated by its customers and the government.

R&D Activities

<High-performance Material Division(automotive component field)>
-Research and development of automotive hoses including brake hoses and power steering hoses, electronic components, and components for information devices.

Halogen-free, 150-degree-heat-resistant harnesses for use in hybrid electric vehicles
-The Company announced on April 8 that it has developed a heat-resistant power harness made from non-halogen materials. The non-halogen product is designed for hybrid electric vehicles, as restrictions on environmentally hazardous substances are becoming tighter also in these next-generation cars in line with rising demand for eco-friendly vehicles. The cables of the new harness are coated with halogen-less material with heat-resistant attributes, which were developed by incorporating its proprietary compounding technology. These cables meet the requirements for non-halogen products, which do not contain any chlorine and bromine, while achieving an allowable temperature limit of 150 degrees Celsius, the highest ever for non-halogen power harnesses for the hybrid application. Even with non-halogen coating, the cables offer both superior flexibility and heat resistant property. The connector unit features a two-piece structure consisting of a copper alloy part and a stainless spring. A newly developed housing unit made from aluminum alloy enables the compact harness to offer improved power distribution and greater vibration resistance performances. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on Apr. 9, 2009)

High-strength, high-temperature-resistant rolled copper foil
-The Company announced that it has developed a high-strength, high-temperature-resistant rolled copper foil for use in next-generation lithium-ion secondary batteries, using alloys such as silicon alloys as the negative-electrode active material. The new technology also offers a 10 percent improvement in battery life. Possible applications of the new material include mobile devices as well as hybrid vehicle and other automotive products. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on Jan. 6, 2010)

Investment Activities

Capital Investment

(in millions of JPY)
  FY2009 FY2008 FY2007
Group 13,862 30,382 27,823
Wires and cables 5,603 10,087 7,819
Supplicated materials 5,815 15,535 16,700

Wires and Cables Division
-The Company invested mainly to streamline and improve its facilities producing insulated wires and industrial cables.

High-performance materials Division
-The Company invested mainly to improve its facilities producing semiconductor package materials and copper and brass products.