Consolidated net income at Denso Corporation for the first half year ended September 30, 2004 was 66.4 billion yen ($US598.2 million), a 25.5% increase from the previous year.

Consolidated net sales totaled 1,354.5 billion yen, up 10.5%, and operating income was 107.3 billion yen, up 17.1%.

"We are satisfied with the financial results for this first half year," said Denso managing officer Nobuaki Katoh. "Compared with our original estimate, our results have exceeded our expectations, mainly due to the continued increase in domestic and overseas car production for Japanese auto manufacturers."

In Japan, sales were 995.0 billion yen, an 11.9% increase from the previous year, and operating income was 87.1 billion yen, 34.5% up, led by strong domestic car production, and a sales increase of high-value products such as adaptive cruise control and pre-collision safety systems.

Although sales volume continued to rise in the Americas, an appreciated yen against the US dollar resulted in only a small revenue increase. Combined sales for the Americas increased just 3.5% to 294.3 billion yen. Operating income was 15.2 billion yen, a decrease of 14.2%, also due to the appreciation of the yen against the US dollar and new product additions.

In Europe, expanded sales of diesel common rail systems, and car air conditioners led to a 16.4% increase in sales to 183.5 billion yen, a 16.4% increase from the previous year. However, start-up costs in the Czech Republic led to a 2.2 billion yen operating loss.

In Asia and Oceania, sales tose 17.1% to 127.1billion yen. Substantial sales increases, especially in ASEAN countries, contributed to the increase but start-up costs in Thailand due to the Toyota IMV project resulted in a 10.6% operating income decrease to 8.2 billion yen.

"As a result of our strong financial results this period, we have revised our fiscal year 2004 forecast," noted Katoh, without giving details.