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Nippon Yusen K.K.’s business 2006 group operating revenue hit an all-time high but higher fuel costs led to more than 20 percent falls in pretax and net profits, the nation’s top shipping company said Wednesday.

In a consolidated earnings report for the year to March 31, Nippon Yusen registered operating revenues of 2.16 trillion yen, up 12.2 percent, thanks partly to rises in revenues from freighter services.

Its pretax profit dropped 23.4 percent to 107.53 billion yen and net profit 29.4 percent to 65.04 billion yen due to increased fuel costs. But both pretax and net profits were still the third-largest ever for the company.

Nippon Yusen plans to pay a full-year dividend of 18 yen per share, the identical sum as it paid for all of business 2005.

It linked the revenue surge mainly to a 6.5 percent rise in revenues from its regular freighter routes.

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