Sumitomo Corp. said Tuesday it chalked up a group net profit of 36.62 billion yen for the April-December period, up 24.4 percent from the same period a year earlier.

The trading house said the increase, computed according to U.S. accounting standards, was mainly due to improved interest and fixed asset balances, along with brisk sales of condominiums in the Tokyo metropolitan area and expansion of its auto dealership and finance businesses in Europe.

However, Sumitomo said its consolidated group sales dropped 6.4 percent in the reporting period to 6.54 trillion yen from a year earlier, weighed down by slumping domestic demand.

The company said it has made no change in its forecast of a group net profit of 55 billion yen on sales of 9.5 trillion yen for the full fiscal year to March 31.

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