March 21, 2014 5:44 am JST

Mitsubishi Electric eyes record profit in fiscal 2014: new chief

TOKYO -- Mitsubishi Electric aims to log new records for group sales and operating profit in the year ending March 2015, its incoming president told reporters Thursday.

     "We would like to make (fiscal 2014) our first year of aiming for a higher level of growth," said an enthusiastic Executive Vice President Masaki Sakuyama, who takes the reins April 1.

     While Sakuyama did not provide specific earnings forecasts, he indicated that the company expects continued growth in operations already enjoying brisk orders, including elevators, air conditioners and power semiconductors.

     For fiscal 2013, Mitsubishi Electric sees consolidated sales ratcheting up 11% on the year to 3.95 trillion yen ($38.2 billion) and operating profit surging 45% to 220 billion yen.

     The current sales record of 4.12 trillion yen was set in fiscal 2000, while the all-time high for operating profit was marked in fiscal 2007 at 264 billion yen.

     Expecting the global economy to continue recovering at a moderate pace in fiscal 2014, Mitsubishi Electric will maintain an aggressively growth-oriented posture, particularly in regard to emerging markets.

     Sakuyama named seven emerging markets where the company intends to focus its energies: Turkey, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Brazil and Mexico. Mitsubishi Electric will make acquisitions in a bid to set up or expand sales and production bases, he said, spending "several tens of billions of yen" as needed.

     The president-in-waiting addressed other notable issues the company is facing.

     "We are weakly positioned to create a large-scale service (for corporate clients) that packages together power control, elevators, air conditioning, lighting and other things," he conceded.

     Sakuyama also dismissed the notion that Mitsubishi Electric would get rid of its television business, thought to be operating at a loss, explaining that the segment's imaging technologies will continue to prove useful to the firm's other businesses.