Ajinomoto, the Japan-based consumer foods and food ingredients major, has upped its forecasts for its current financial year and key metrics, citing a boost from Covid-19.

In the year to the end of March 2021, Ajinomoto is forecasting revenue of JPY1.06 trillion (US$10.4bn), “business profit” of JPY90bn and a profit attributable to owners of the company of JPY32bn. If achieved, the revenue and business profit would still be lower than in the year to the end of March 2020 but Ajinomoto’s profit attributable to owners of the company would be higher.

The group’s earlier forecasts for its current financial year were for revenue of JPY1.05trn, business profit of JPY78bn and profit of JPY22.5bn.

Ajinomoto said Covid-19 had led to rising sales for products for consumers to eat at home, which the company sells through two divisions – Seasonings and Foods and Frozen Foods.

On the other hand, Ajinomoto said demand from its restaurant and industrial-use customers had decreased due to the impact of “lockdowns and other factors”. The company added “sales conditions remain severe” for that part of its business. 

Business profit from both the Seasonings and Foods and Frozen Foods divisions are expected to be higher than Ajinomoto had previously forecast due to an increase in sales of frozen foods in North America, improved profitability in the company’s product mix and cost reductions.

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In the year to 31 March 2020, Ajinomoto generated revenue of JPY1.1bn, a business profit of JPY99.2bn and a profit attributable to owners of the company of JPY18.8bn.