Japanese electric motor maker Nidec reports 47% jump in profit

TOKYO – Japan’s Nidec reported on Thursday an increase in operating profit of 47% compared to the year before for fiscal 2020, which ended in March, thanks to strong demand for personal computers and home appliances, with a global shift to electric vehicles.

The world’s largest maker of electric motors recorded an annual operating profit of 160 billion yen ($ 1.48 billion), while sales rose 5.4% to 1.618 billion yen.

For fiscal 2021, which begins in April, Nidec expects a record operating profit of 180 billion yen, up 12% from sales of 1.7 trillion yen, up 5.1% and also a record.

Nidec also announced that founder-president Shigenobu Nagamori, 76, will step down as CEO, with President Jun Seki taking over. The appointment will be formalized after the annual shareholders’ meeting in June.

Nidec manufactures electric motors for cars, devices and computer hard drives.

The company, which was originally a manufactured component for a personal computer, has in recent years moved to other areas, such as home appliances and cars, where electric motors are used more than before.

Nidec generates more than 80% of its revenue from overseas, but has failed as the US-China trade war has intensified since 2018. It was hit again in early 2020 amid a coronavirus outbreak.

Business has been improving since late last year as car production and investment in electric vehicles have picked up again around the world.

The pandemic has recently resulted in increased demand for small engines used in laptops and home appliances.