High-tech components maker Kyocera Corp. recently forecast a modest 18% pullback in group operating profit this business year after a surge last year, reflecting weak demand for cell phones and other info-tech goods. The company's forecast, more bullish than several analysts' projections recently, called for operating profit of 170 billion yen ($1.38 billion) after last year's 124.8% rise to 207.2 billion yen. A number of analysts had expected a 2001/02 target of 135-165 billion yen. For the current business year, Kyocera said it plans to boost profitability by expanding production in China and increasing sales of fine ceramic and semiconductor components for optic-fibre communications. The company, whose core strength is in ceramic components, said last year's earnings were boosted by brisk sales of fine ceramics for mobile phones and optic-fibre communications. It added that, despite a slump in demand in the computer and communications sectors in the latter part of the second half, full-year sales of electronic devices, including capacitors made by Kyocera and U.S. subsidiary AVX Corp, far exceeded the previous year's levels.