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Daikin combats pandemic slump with virus-killing air purifiers

Japan A/C maker probes chance for rebound amid roughest stretch since 2008 crisis

A Daikin factory in Vietnam: The company has built a track record of growing earnings after crises. (Photo by Atsushi Tomiyama)

OSAKA -- The coronavirus has broken a six-year streak of record profits for Daikin Industries, one of the world's largest air conditioner makers, but the company looks to use its virus-eliminating air purifiers to turn the crisis into a springboard to recovery.

Daikin forecasts group operating profit dropping 44% to 150 billion yen ($1.39 billion) this fiscal year, after a 4% dip in fiscal 2019. This would mark its first two-year stretch of falling profits since fiscal 2009, amid the global financial crisis. The company said it will reevaluate its plans every month or two in light of the uncertainty ahead.

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