Japan electric motor maker Nidec reports 47% profit jump

TOKYO — Japan’s Nidec reported on Thursday a 47% increase in operating profit from a year before for fiscal 2020 ended March on the back of strong demand for personal computers and home appliances along with a global shift to electric vehicles.

The world’s largest electric motor maker saw annual operating profit hit 160 billion yen ($1.48 billion), as sales rose 5.4% to 1,618 billion yen.

Nidec also announced that founder-chairman Shigenobu Nagamori, 76, will step down as CEO, with president Jun Seki assuming the position. The appointment will be formalized after an annual shareholders meeting in June.

Nidec produces electric motors for cars, appliances and computer hard disk drives.

The company, originally a maker of personal computer components, has moved into other areas in recent years, such as home appliances and automobiles, where electric motors are being more widely used than before.

Nidec derives more than 80% of revenue from overseas but suffered a setback as the U.S.-China trade war has intensified since 2018. It was hit again in early 2020 amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Business has started to improve since late last year as auto production and investment in EVs rebounded worldwide.

The pandemic has lately resulted in surging demand for small motors used in notebook computers and home appliances.

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