Japan's biggest industrial electronics company has been hit by slow television sales as people around the world, but especially in the US, tighten their belts amid fears of economic woes to come.

Hitachi reported a quarterly net loss of 57.6 billion yen, compared with a 44 billion yen profit a year earlier.

But despite this, the company's shares were up 5% and it is predicting a profitable year ahead.

However, Hitachi recognised that changes must be made, especially if the yen continues to get stronger and price cuts on consumer electronics continue worldwide.

The company has promised to trim down its staggering empire of 911 subsidiaries, and make cost cuts in both its hard drive and plasma TV operations.

For the 2008-09 financial year, Hitachi is predicting a net profit of 40 billion yen ($386 million), against a net loss of 58.13 billion yen the previous year.