Yakult Honsha Co. said Friday its group net profits for the 2001 business year increased 5.4 percent to 11.11 billion yen due mainly to nonoperating income, such as royalties.

The leading yogurt drink producer reported a group pretax profits of 22.77 billion yen, up 5.1 percent, on a 2.1 percent rise in sales to 229.62 billion yen in the year that ended March 31.

Its group per-share net profits rose to 63.2 yen from the previous year’s 60 yen.

The company said nonoperating income included 4.34 billion yen in royalty revenue and 4.72 billion yen in profits from investment in its foreign affiliates.

The increase in sales was down from the previous year’s 6.4 percent rise, as dairy product sales were hit by weak consumption, the company said.

The company said it will pay a dividend of 15 yen per share for the reporting year, the same amount as in the previous year.

For this year, the company forecasts group net profits of 11.5 billion yen and pretax profits of 27.5 billion yen on sales of 256 billion yen.

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