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Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. said Friday its group net profit fell 3.6 percent in fiscal 2001 due primarily to higher sales costs, lower transportation fees and the sluggish global economy.

The major shipping firm said its consolidated net profit in the year that ended March 31 came to 10.54 billion yen, on operating revenues of 903.94 billion yen, up 1.8 percent.

“Profitability took a sharp blow in the reporting year as a result of the oversupply of ships’ cargo space, the resultant intensified competition and transportation fee cuts, in addition to an overall fall in demand for cargo transport,” the firm said in a statement.

Pretax profits dived 29.5 percent to 37.38 billion yen. Per-share net profit dipped to 8.76 yen, down from the previous year’s 9.01 yen.

The company said it will pay a full-year, per-share dividend of 5 yen in fiscal 2001, the same amount as in fiscal 2000.

In fiscal 2002, Mitsui O.S.K. expects a group net profit of 15 billion yen and pretax profit of 30 billion yen on projected operating revenues of 930 billion yen.

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