June 20, 2014 5:51 am JST

Fujitsu General aiming to grow profits from A/C sales

TOKYO -- Fujitsu General Ltd. plans to lift operating profit from its air-conditioning business by 60% compared with fiscal 2013 to a record of just over 15 billion yen ($145 million) in fiscal 2016.

     Air conditioning accounted for 45% of total operating profit in the year ended this March. The company hopes to raise the figure to 70% in fiscal 2016, which ends in March 2017.

     Fujitsu General is interested in cultivating the Chinese market, considered the largest in the world. The development and sales staff there will double to about 200 in fiscal 2014. Sales of air conditioners will be expanded inland from just coastal regions. An annual 50 million air-conditioning units are sold in China -- five times as many as in Japan.

     Back at home, Fujitsu General will increase sales to corporate customers, including homebuilders. Businesses accounted for about 13% of air conditioner sales in fiscal 2013, a share the company hopes to raise to 20%. Units sold to businesses are less vulnerable to price cuts than units sold through volume retailers. Fujitsu General sees demand for apartments and single-family homes continuing to rise, providing it with stable earnings in Japan.

     Because Fujitsu General imports units produced in factories abroad, the weak yen will likely push down profits by about 5 billion yen this fiscal year. The company plans to offset the impact by using fewer parts and streamlining production processes.