Kumagai Gumi Co. on Monday said it posted a net profit of 2.55 billion yen for the 2001 business year, the first time in nine years that black ink flowed onto its books.

The construction company, which posted a net loss of 2.65 billion yen the previous year, attributed the result to lower costs and improved efficiencies.

In the reporting year, Kumagai Gumi said consolidated sales came to 737.33 billion yen, down 7.1 percent for the third consecutive year of decline.

Sales in its mainstay construction segment dropped 8.7 percent to 679.3 billion yen, while those in the real estate segment grew 12.2 percent to 59.4 billion yen.

By reducing sales and management costs by 17.5 percent, the group was able to post an operating profit of 17.06 billion yen, down 3.7 percent, and due to smaller interest payments, the group’s pretax profit came to 6.42 billion yen, up 861.7 percent, it said.

The group also shed some nonperforming assets during the year.

The company, however, said it will skip dividend payments for the fifth consecutive year.

For the current year to March 31, Kumagai Gumi projects a group net profit of 3 billion yen and pretax profit of 6.5 billion yen on sales of 585 billion yen.

Losses for Hazama

Construction company Hazama Corp. said Monday its group posted net losses of 1.66 billion yen for the year to March 31 due to valuation losses on stockholdings and writeoffs of irrecoverable loans.

The group reported 11.16 billion yen in extraordinary losses stemming chiefly from those losses, it said.

However, the group posted pretax profits of 10.48 billion yen, unchanged from the year before, on sales of 416.9 billion yen, down 8.9 percent.

Sales in its mainstay construction segment declined 7.5 percent to 381.53 billion yen, with operating profits coming to 14.98 billion yen, down 13.1 percent.

Those in the development segment fell 21.2 percent to 35.38 billion yen, with operating profits rising 1.1 percent to 1.48 billion yen, Hazama said.

The company will continue skipping dividend payments this year, the fifth straight year of no dividends.

For the current year to March 31, Hazama expects its group business to return to profitability. It will post consolidated net profits of 600 million yen and pretax profits of 10.10 billion yen on sales of 386 billion yen, it said.

Toda profits fall 37%

Contractor Toda Corp. said Monday its group net profits for fiscal 2001 fell 36.9 percent to 577 million yen, hit by a bribery scandal and the economic slump.

Group pretax profits fell a hefty 54.7 percent to 12.54 billion yen, with group revenues down 10.9 percent to 578.12 billion yen in the business year that ended March 31.

Group net profits per share came to 1.82 yen, down from 2.88 yen the previous year.

Construction demand was sluggish both in the private and public sectors as information-technology related investment slowed, especially in the manufacturing sector, the company said, adding the government also cut public works spending due to severe fiscal conditions.

Earnings were also hit by the bribery scandal, which resulted in Toda being banned from public works tenders after the arrest of its branch manager in Yokohama over his dealings with the construction of a city library in Shimotsuma, Ibaraki Prefecture, in 1999.

In February, the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry said it would bar Toda Corp. from public works tenders for two months due to its involvement in the scandal.

Toda said it will pay a dividend of 9 yen per share for the just-ended year, unchanged from the year before.

For the current fiscal year, the company forecasts group net profits of 1.5 billion yen and group pretax profits of 5.5 billion yen on revenues of 510 billion yen. It expects to pay a dividend of 5 yen per share for the current year.

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