The firm has already announced it will slash 7,000 jobs, or nearly 2 per cent of its global work force.

Hitachi, which makes a wide range of products from computer chips to electric power systems said sales in all regions had fallen by an average by about 20 per cent.

'Lehman shock'

It blamed the US financial crisis for causing ripple effects throughout the world economy, squeezing demand not only in industrialised nations but also in China and other new markets.

"Our business conditions are increasingly murky as the fallout on financial markets from 'Lehman shock' fails to settle down, and the economies of the US and emerging nations rapidly deteriorate," the company said, referring to the collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers last year.

Last week rival electronics giant Sony said its profit had shrivelled by 95 per cent to $115.6m in the third quarter.

It is predicting a loss of around $180m for the full fiscal year, it's first in more than a decade, largely because of huge losses in its core electronics sector.

Also last week, Toshiba Corp. reported a net loss of $1.34bn for the October-December quarter, on the back of falling demand for flash memory chips and other gadgets.

It expects a net loss of $3.1bn for the fiscal year.