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Trading house Mitsubishi Corp. said Thursday it posted a group net profit of 28.69 billion yen in the April-June quarter, achieving 95.6 percent of its first half-year target and 35.9 percent of the full-year projection for the business year to March.

The net profit stemmed largely from dividends and capital gains on stock portfolios. It was the first time Mitsubishi announced earnings posted in its first quarter.

But the projected net profit of 30 billion yen for the first six months was down from 75.92 billion yen posted a year earlier.

Group sales reached 3.266 trillion yen, helped by Mitsubishi’s energy and machinery businesses, but metals and lifestyle-related areas were hit by the sluggish economy and seasonal factors, it said.

Sales in the first quarter accounted for 48.7 percent of the first-half projection and 23 percent for the year. Group sales from its energy business reached 840.23 billion yen and those from its machinery business stood at 577.71 billion yen.

The company posted an operating profit of 8.84 billion yen, or 35.3 percent of its first-half target and 10.4 percent of its annual projection.

Asahi brews up profit

Asahi Breweries Ltd. said Thursday it posted a group net profit of 2.45 billion yen in the first half of fiscal 2001, mainly on brisk beer sales and its success in the “happoshu” market, which it entered in February.

The Tokyo-based company chalked up sales of 661.40 billion yen in the six months, with a pretax profit of 20.03 billion yen and operating profit of 26.46 billion yen.

The interim report was the first in which Asahi calculated consolidated figures.

Asahi saw combined shipments of happoshu — a low-malt beer-like liquor — and beer rise 9.4 percent in the January-June period from the corresponding period last year, giving it a record 37.5 percent share of the domestic market.

The major brewery booked 33.99 billion yen in operating profit on sales of alcoholic beverages, but fell 1.50 billion yen in the red in operating accounts for nonalcoholic drinks.

For the whole year, the company projects a net profit of 11 billion yen on sales of 1.49 trillion yen, and a pretax profit of 61 billion yen.

On a parent-only basis, Asahi’s net profit for the first six months declined 74.5 percent from the same period last year to 2.28 billion yen.

Sales came to 510.01 billion yen, up 6.3 percent, while pretax profit was 18.69 billion yen, down 18.6 percent, and operating profit came to 28.29 billion yen, down 7.7 percent.

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