Japan’s three major shipping companies announced Friday that their unconsolidated profits increased in the first half of fiscal 1999.

Nippon Yusen K.K. reported a record high unconsolidated pretax profit of 18 billion yen in the April-September period, more than doubling the figure from the same period last year. Its sales were also at a record high of 345.9 billion yen, up 1.3 percent from the previous year.

Although the sharp appreciation of the yen against the dollar lowered a growth rate of its revenues, the firm’s cost-cutting efforts and busy maritime transportation activity, mainly on the North Pacific route, have contributed to the increase in the profits, company officials said.

The company reported an operating profit of 23.8 billion yen, up 59.3 percent from the same period last year, and a net profit of 9.8 billion yen, compared with 2.2 billion yen a year earlier.

Likewise, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. posted its record-breaking unconsolidated pretax profit of 12 billion yen, up 42.1 percent from the same period last year.

It has also reported its record sales of 329.6 billion yen, up 8 percent from a year earlier.

While its operating profit rose 29.1 percent from the same period last year to 15.3 billion yen, its net profit increased 32 percent from the previous year to 5.8 billion yen.

The company attributed the increase to reduced operation costs and the expansion of its business by the merger with Navix Line, Ltd. in April, company officials said.

Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. also saw its unconsolidated pretax profit surge 47.6 percent from the same period last year to 6.6 billion yen.

But its sales decreased 12.5 percent from a year earlier to 181 billion yen, because of the decreased sales in nonregular shipping service routes, company officials said.

Its operating profit rose 13.8 percent from the same period last year to 9.8 billion yen, and its net profit was 2 billion yen, up 33.3 percent from the previous year.

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