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Tokyo Gas Co. said Wednesday its group pretax profits rose 20.6 percent to 80.63 billion yen in the business year to March 31 on strong gas sales and cost-cutting efforts.

The yen’s weakening during the past fiscal year led to larger import costs for raw materials. Their profits expanded, however, due to cost-cutting and improved management, the utility said.

On a consolidated net basis, Tokyo Gas’s profits surged 88.1 percent to 51.91 billion yen. The amount of extraordinary losses fell sharply while that of extraordinary profits jumped, according to the company.

In the previous fiscal year, the company booked huge extra losses by filling a shortfall in reserves for retirement benefits. Such charges did not occur in fiscal 2001, it said. In addition, Tokyo Gas had made 3.46 billion yen in extra profits in fiscal 2001 from sales of securities holdings.

Group operating revenues edged up 1 percent to 1.09 trillion yen.

For the current business year to next March 31, Tokyo Gas said it expects group pretax profits of 76 billion yen and net profits of 49 billion yen on operating revenues of 1.12 trillion yen.

Toho Gas profit falls

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Toho Gas Co. said Wednesday its group net profits in fiscal 2001 fell 3.4 percent from the previous year to 11.53 billion yen.

That marks their first decline in five years, and is blamed on higher sales costs and poor profitability at subsidiaries amid the economic slump.

In the year to March 31, Japan’s third-largest city gas utility posted group pretax profits of 18.52 billion yen, down 3.1 percent, on record consolidated operating revenues of 318.98 billion yen, up 5.2 percent.

Group per-share net profits fell to 18.98 yen from the previous year’s 19.29 yen.

The company mainly serves Nagoya. It said group operating revenues hit a record high for three years in a row as a result of its efforts to develop new demand for gas for industrial use.

Gas sales rose 4.5 percent to 213.04 billion yen and earnings from gas engineering works and appliance grew 6.7 percent to 40.54 billion yen.

For the current business year to next March 31, the company forecasts falls in sales and profits due to plans to lower gas rates in July.

It projects group net and pretax profits of 10 billion yen and 16 billion yen, respectively, on operating revenues of 311 billion yen.

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