Citizen Watch Co. said Wednesday its group net profit for the first half to Sept. 30 surged 229.9 percent from a year earlier to 2.87 billion yen despite a 7.4 percent decline in sales to 154.79 billion yen.

The leading watch manufacturer attributed the robust profit to lower fixed expenses as a result of jobs cuts implemented in the previous business year, which ended in March.

In its consolidated earnings report, Citizen Watch posted an operating profit of 8.1 billion yen in the April-September period, up 38.9 percent, and a pretax profit of 8.37 billion yen, up 22.3 percent.

Group net profit per share was 9.27 yen in the first half, up from 2.83 yen a year earlier.

As in the previous year, the company will pay an interim dividend of 4.5 yen per share. It also plans to pay a yearend dividend of 4.5 yen.

For the full year through March 31, Citizen Watch expects a group net profit of 4 billion yen, revised down from 7 billion yen announced in August.

It also forecasts a group pretax profit of 17 billion yen, revised down from 19.5 billion yen, and an operating profit of 16 billion yen, down from 18 billion yen, on sales of 322 billion yen, unchanged from the earlier projection.

In the previous year, the company logged a group net loss of 12.61 billion yen, a pretax profit of 10.17 billion yen and an operating profit of 7.21 billion yen on sales of 327.56 billion yen.

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