Oji Paper Co. said Wednesday its group net profit for the first half to Sept. 30 soared 926.9 percent from a year earlier to 5.97 billion yen, due largely to cost cuts.

The paper manufacturer said the overall paper and paperboard markets remained sluggish amid the continued economic slump, but earnings were bolstered by redoubled efforts to cut personnel, logistic expenses and energy usage.

In its consolidated earnings report, Oji Paper posted a pretax profit of 17.17 billion yen in the April-September period, up 45 percent from a year earlier. Sales totaled 602.38 billion yen, up slightly from 602.15 billion yen.

Group net profit per share was 5.65 yen, up sharply from 0.56 yen a year earlier.

As in the previous year, the company will pay an interim dividend of 4 yen per share. It also plans to pay a yearend dividend of 4 yen per share.

For the full year through March 31, Oji Paper forecasts a net profit of 18 billion yen and a pretax profit of 46 billion yen on revenues of 1.22 trillion yen.

In the previous business year, the company logged a net loss of 17.7 billion yen and a pretax profit of 20.09 billion yen on revenues of 1.2 trillion yen.

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