• Kyodo News

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The combined pretax profit of companies listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange that close their books in March is forecast to rise nearly 47 percent in fiscal 2009, according to data released by Nikko Cordial Securities Inc.

The projected rise, the first in two years, is largely attributable to brisk exports to China and other emerging economies, government stimulus measures and corporate efforts to streamline operations, Nikko said Tuesday.

Using pretax profit projections for fiscal 2009 ending March 31 and released through Monday by 1,293 companies, the brokerage found that their combined pretax profit is projected to total ¥16.97 trillion, up 46.8 percent from the previous year.

Of the companies, 313 firms revised their projections upward with makers of consumer electronics and automobiles providing bullish forecasts thanks to the government’s incentive programs for purchasing energy-efficient home appliances and cars.

In contrast, 131 companies, especially those reliant on domestic demand, released bearish projections, reflecting cautious corporate investment in plants and equipment, and stagnant consumer spending amid deflationary pressure.

Railways and manufacturers of steel and metal products were among the cautious companies.

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