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Takefuji Corp., the nation’s largest consumer finance company, on Tuesday reported a record group net profit for fiscal 2000 for the 10th straight year on the strength of ultralow interest rates that have dramatically reduced its fundraising costs.

Takefuji said its net profit grew 11.7 percent to 127.27 billion yen on strong demand for noncollateral lending, despite a sluggish Japanese economy marked by weak consumer spending.

For the business year ended March 31, per-share net profit was 864.02 yen, up from 773.20 yen the previous year.

The group’s pretax profit also reached a record high for the 10th straight year, rising 18 percent to 241.50 billion yen. The consumer finance firm’s operating revenue rose 8.1 percent to 402.10 billion yen.

The company said it plans to pay an annual dividend of 100 yen per share, including a commemorative dividend of 40 yen. Takefuji paid an annual dividend of 80 yen per share the previous year.

On an unconsolidated basis, the company reported its net profit rose 12.4 percent to 127.62 billion yen, and that pretax profit rose 18.3 percent to 241.19 billion yen on a 7.9 percent rise in operating revenue to 400.40 billion yen.

For the current year to March 31, 2002, the company expects group net profit to hit a record for the 11th successive year at 144.14 billion yen. It expects group pretax profit of 264.40 billion yen on 431.10 billion yen in operating revenue.

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