Japan’s Nidec posts first quarterly loss in 10 years

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese electric motor maker Nidec Corp on Monday posted its first quarterly operating loss in a decade, hit by hefty restructuring costs and difficulty in procuring semiconductors and other components.

The loss of 24.3 billion yen ($181.01 million) for the January-March quarter compared to an average estimate for a 11.75 billion yen loss in a Refinitiv survey of analysts.


“The business environment surrounding Nidec continues to be severe,” the company said, warning of a delay in the recovery of global automobile production, among other headwinds.

It was also squeezed by a decline in unit growth rate in the electric vehicle (EV) market in China and a peaking of capital investment-related demand, it said in a statement.

Nidec has made a big bet on growth in the EV market, investing heavily in production and development of the e-axle traction motor, which combines an electric vehicle’s gear, motor and power-control electronics.

It said previously it aimed to launch a third-generation model of its e-axle system in 2025, having begun manufacturing a second-generation system in Guangzhou, China last September.

Kazuyoshi Saito, a senior analyst at Iwai Cosmo Securities, said the filings suggested that Nidec had become slightly more upbeat about the business ahead, but that conditions appeared not as clear cut, especially in the EV area.

“In areas such as electric appliances, industrials and overall, the economic outlook is uncertain. The business moves relatively in line with the macro economy, which makes me wonder how much of a recovery there will be,” Saito said.

Nidec is set to hold a briefing about the results at 0100 GMT on Tuesday, where its founder Shigenobu Nagamori will address journalists and analysts.

In the latest quarter the company took a hefty hit related to restructuring as it looked to sharply reduce fixed costs.

Analysts had expected the restructuring push to leave a big mark on the results, as it had already been started in the prior quarter and the company had flagged the move in advance.

The results, which compared to a 36.9 billion yen profit in the same period a year earlier, marked Nidec’s first quarterly loss since January-March 2013.

For the business year that began April 1, the Kyoto-based firm forecast operating profit of 220 billion yen, versus an average 210.87 billion yen forecast by 21 analysts.

($1 = 134.2500 yen)

(Reporting by Daniel Leussink; Editing by David Dolan and Bernadette Baum)