Komatsu Joins Peers to Signal Mining Rebound Remains Elusive – by Masumi Suga (Bloomberg News – January 31, 2017)

Komatsu Ltd., the world’s No. 2 supplier of construction equipment, said industry-wide demand from miners fell 13 percent in the last quarter, signaling that the rebound in commodities prices is yet to feed through into better sales of the giant trucks and excavators used in extracting minerals.

The Tokyo-based company, which also supplies builders and produces industrial machinery, reported lower earnings Tuesday for the third quarter through December, with net income down a fifth on the year to 30.8 billion yen ($271 million) and revenue slipping 10 percent to 430.6 billion yen, according to a statement.

“We stick to our earlier view that the timing of a recovery will come” in the next fiscal year or after, Yasuhiro Inagaki, senior executive officer, said on a conference call, referring to the mining equipment market.

Still, Komatsu is maintaining its full-year forecasts. Stripping out the impact of a stronger yen, which makes Japanese exports less competitive, overall sales were steady, the company said.

It cited growth in markets such as China and Indonesia as outweighing sluggish demand in North America and the Middle East. For mining equipment, yen-based sales fell 4 percent in the quarter; excluding currency, they rose 7 percent, Chief Financial Officer Mikio Fujitsuka said on the call.

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