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Japanese chipmakers suffering

Six semiconductor makers release downbeat earnings results for the first half of a tough year.

Six Japanese semiconductor makers released downbeat earnings results for the first half of the year, many of them suffering from a semiconductor market malaise, according to a report in the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Japan's largest business daily.

All six saw their sales and pretax balances decline during the term, according to the report. Hitachi, Toshiba, and Oki Electric all posted pretax losses, the newspaper said.

Mitsubishi Electric had a pretax profit of 4.3 billion yen, but it was down 13 percent year on year, on a 3 percent dip in sales to 1.3 trillion yen. The company was hurt-to the tune of 18 billion yen-by its retreat from semiconductor businesses in the U.S.

Oki Electric posted pretax loss of 24.8 billion yen--the first in five years.

All the major semiconductor firms are posting losses in their semiconductor divisions as a result of falling memory chip prices, the report said.

Toshiba is expected to see profits plunge 61 percent, while NEC will see a 38 percent drop in profits.