Earlier today [Tuesday], dairy producer Meiji Milk Products Co. posted a 76.7% drop year-on-year in net profits to ¥1bn (US$8.1m) for the April to September period. The company, the second largest dairy foods manufacturer in Japan, explained that the first half figures had been buffeted by intensifying price competition and a lasting slowdown in personal consumption of dairy foods. For this reason the group expects to see net profit plummet by 84.4% for the full year to March 2002, down to ¥600m.