Morinaga Milk Industry has raised its net profit forecast for the full year to 31 March 2009, according to reports.

The Japanese dairy company today (27 April) almost doubled its net profit forecast to JPY4.20bn (US$43m) from a previous estimate of JPY2.40bn, Reuters reported.

The company is expecting sales to reach JPY583bn, compared to a previous forecast of JPY580bn.

Operating profit is expected tor each JPY11.50 from the company’s previous estimate of JPY8.20bn.

Last last year, Morinaga Milk and Japanese confectioner Morinaga confirmed that they are in talks, with speculation centring on the possibility of a merger between the two.

A source indicated that the merger of food makers Meiji Seika Kaisha and Meiji Dairies Corp. early last year prompted the move.