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May 22, 2002

JAPAN: Morinaga pre-tax profits plunge

Japanese confectioner Morinaga reported a 63.6% drop in profits for the fiscal year ended 31 March as sales stagnated. The group said pre-tax profits in the year plunged to ¥3.39bn (US$27.3m) as overall sales tumbled 12.7% to ¥174.63bn. Sluggish sales of the group’s core confectionery products were exacerbated by the depreciation of the yen against other currencies, which hiked the expense of imported raw materials.

Japanese confectioner Morinaga reported a 63.6% drop in profits for the fiscal year ended 31 March as sales stagnated.

The group said pre-tax profits in the year plunged to ¥3.39bn (US$27.3m) as overall sales tumbled 12.7% to ¥174.63bn.

Sluggish sales of the group’s core confectionery products were exacerbated by the depreciation of the yen against other currencies, which hiked the expense of imported raw materials.

A booking of ¥2.34bn in extraordinary profits slashed the fall in profits to a decline of just 1.3% to ¥2.14bn, most of the extraordinary profit gain derived from the liquidation of the employees’ pension fund.

The group will pay a dividend of ¥5 per share for fiscal 2001, in line with fiscal 2000.

On a more positive note, the group said it expects to report group pre-tax and net profits of ¥4.1bn and ¥1.7bn respectively, on sales forecast at ¥178bn.

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