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7 major traders record sharp increase in profits

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Seven major Japanese trading houses enjoyed sharp year-on-year rises in consolidated net profits in the fiscal first half ended in September, thanks mainly to higher prices for commodities, including coal and iron ore.

Of them, Mitsubishi Corp., Sumitomo Corp. and two others revised up their earnings forecasts for the full year through March 2018.

Mitsubishi’s net profit rose 41.2 percent to ¥253.9 billion, led by its coal business in Australia. The company expects to post a record full-year net profit of ¥500 billion, also helped by its acquisition of a controlling stake in convenience store chain Lawson Inc. .

Sumitomo’s net profit rose 136.1 percent to ¥155.2 billion.

Itochu Corp.’s net profit climbed 19.9 percent to ¥242.4 billion as the company posted higher profits at all seven of its divisions, including food and home-related products.

Mitsui & Co. logged net profit growth of 95.4 percent to ¥238.3 billion, chiefly thanks to a big profit rise at its metal resources business. But its food resources, food products and services division ended in the red ink due to a loss of ¥42.3 billion linked to Multigrain AG, a struggling agriculture unit that operates in Brazil.

Marubeni Corp. reported a net profit of ¥104.5 billion, up 29.9 percent.

Toyota Tsusho Corp. saw its net profit go up 45.3 percent to ¥73.4 billion.

Sojitz Corp.’s net profit increased 77.4 percent to ¥27.2 billion.Speech

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