Japan’s largest ice cream wholesaler, Fujisan, is reported to have applied for court protection from creditors, after failing to restore its business to profitability.

Kyoto-based Fujisan, which applied for protection at the Osaka District Court, is believed to have around ¥60bn (US$540.6m) in debt, reported Kyodo News.

According to credit research agency Teikoku Databank, the company’s financial problems stemmed from weak growth in orders due to lower personal consumption. The company’s core ice cream business was badly hit by this summer’s unseasonably cool weather.

Fujisan, which employs around 760 staff, has around 20% of Japan’s wholesale ice cream market.

After reporting a ¥1.1bn net loss for the year to September 2001, the company underwent a restructuring programme and posted a net loss of ¥10m for the year to September 2002.

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