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Daihatsu Motor Co. announced Thursday that its unconsolidated net profit increased 7.5 percent over the previous year to 6.8 billion yen for the 1997 business year.

Due to sluggish sales in the domestic market, the automaker’s sales dropped 0.5 percent to 783.28 billion yen in the business year that ended March 31, and its operating profit posted a sharp decline of 32.3 percent to 12.98 billion yen, the firm said.

The company, which is affiliated with Toyota Motor Corp., said its pretax profit was down 30.7 percent to 13.45 billion yen. Despite Asia’s economic turmoil, Daihatsu said its exports grew 32.3 percent to 99,000 units, due partly to increasing exports to Europe.

The automaker, whose overseas operations depend heavily on Malaysia and Indonesia, said the impact of the current crisis in Asia will affect the 1998 business year rather than the last business year.

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