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Major shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. said Friday its group net profit in the fiscal first half to Sept. 30 fell 60.5 percent from a year earlier to 5.54 billion yen due to flagging shipping fees and higher fuel costs.

Group pretax profit dropped 64.5 percent to 9.32 billion yen on operating revenues of 444.04 billion yen, down 3.8 percent.

Per-share net profit for the six-month period dropped to 4.62 yen from 11.64 yen a year earlier.

As in the previous year, the company said it will skip a midterm dividend payment. But it will pay a yearend dividend of 5 yen per share as it did last year.

For the full year through next March 31, it forecasts a group net profit of 12 billion yen, up from 10.54 billion yen in the previous year, and a pretax profit of 25 billion yen, down from 37.38 billion yen , on projected operating revenues of 910 billion yen , up from 903.94 billion yen.

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