Japanese food firm Meiji Seika has lowered its group net profit outlook for the year to March 2004 to ¥1bn (US$9.0m) from ¥4bn.

The company said the revision was made because of a ¥3.6bn special loss related to its early-retirement scheme, reported Dow Jones News.

Meiji Seika did not, however, revise its sales outlook, leaving it unchanged at ¥370bn. The company said sales promotion had helped improve the performance of its three main businesses, food, pharmaceuticals and health care.

The company also lowered its group outlook for the first half to a loss of ¥1bn from a net profit of ¥500m.

For the year to March 2003, Meiji Seika reported group net profit of ¥2.67bn on sales of ¥353.45bn.