April 3, 2014 2:00 am JST

Toray seen posting 30% operating profit gain for fiscal 2013

TOKYO -- Toray Industries likely generated a group operating profit of some 108 billion yen ($1.03 billion) for the year ended March 31, up 30% on the year, on brisk sales of its mainstay fibers and textiles as well as carbon fiber composite materials.

     The profit would be on par with the record 107.7 billion yen it logged in fiscal 2011. But the figure falls about 2 billion yen short of the company's projection due to higher procurement costs from the yen's unexpected weakness in the January-March quarter.

     Sales are estimated at 1.83 trillion yen, up 15% and in line with guidance. In the fiber and textile business, materials for high-performance apparel fared well, as did nonwoven fabric for disposable diapers. Demand for materials for car air bags and other industrial applications also picked up.

     In the carbon composite materials business, shipments increased for use in aircraft and natural gas transport tanks. For sports gear and other general-use materials, the company narrowed its product lineup to focus on prices, thus improving profitability.

     In the information technology sector, films for small and midsize display panels used in smartphones and tablets performed well, mainly in the first half of the year. That helped offset the sluggishness of films for flat-screen-TV panels.

     For the year through March 2015, profit is expected to grow 20% to around 130 billion yen. Toray's fiber and textile business as well as its carbon fiber composite materials operations are both likely to remain strong, helped by higher aircraft output and robust demand from industrial and sporting goods makers.