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Tobacco tax revenue rose 26.4 percent in June from the same month a year ago to 82.33 billion yen on higher demand for imported brands ahead of the July 1 tobacco tax increase, the Finance Ministry said Tuesday.

Overall tax revenue grew 1.1 percent to 2.0 trillion yen, with corporate tax revenue up 14.1 percent to 300.31 billion yen, it said.

Income tax revenue rose 6.1 percent to 990.32 billion yen.

Liquor tax revenue fell 7.0 percent to 130.21 billion yen.

The government took in 87.96 billion yen less in consumption tax revenue than it paid out in refunds to companies on their plant and equipment investments, the ministry reported.

JT profit soars 60%

The Associated Press

Japan Tobacco Inc. has reported a profit increase of more than 60 percent for the most recent quarter due to last-minute buying by smokers prior to a tax hike and the sale of idle properties.

The firm posted net profit of 76.25 billion yen for the April-June quarter, up from 47.52 billion yen the same period a year earlier.

Overall revenues rose 12.08 percent to 1.29 trillion yen, from 1.15 trillion yen, the world’s third-largest maker of tobacco products said Monday.

Kazunori Hayashi, a spokesman for the Tokyo-based company, said the result was due to last-minute buying ahead of an increase in tobacco tax and rise in the price of some brands that hiked the price per cigarette to 1.5 yen on July 1.

The sale of some of its idle properties formerly used for company housing also contributed to the robust result, it said.

The number of cigarettes Japan Tobacco sold domestically during the period rose 7.0 percent to 54 billion from 50.5 billion during the same period in 2005.

During the latest period, Japan Tobacco sold 52.1 billion cigarettes on international markets, up 6.4 percent from a year earlier, with strong sales growth in Italy, France, Ukraine, Spain, Iran, Russia and Taiwan.

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