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Mitsui Chemicals Inc. and Teijin Ltd. said Friday they will integrate their production and sales of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is used to make plastic bottles for beverages, around next April to cut costs in the face of competition from cheap imports.

The two companies will set up a joint venture to take over the PET production operations at a Mitsui Chemicals plant in Waki, Yamaguchi Prefecture. Teijin’s PET production business in Shunan in the same prefecture will be halted.

Mitsui Chemicals will own 80 percent of the joint venture and Teijin the rest.

Mitsui Chemicals has the biggest share of the Japanese PET market and Teijin the third-largest share. They expect the integration to raise the utilization capacity rate of the PET plant in Waki and save them about ¥1 billion in costs each year.

Toray in the black

Synthetic fiber maker Toray Industries Inc. said Friday it returned to the black in the April to June quarter with a group net profit of ¥8.65 billion, compared with a net loss of ¥7.44 billion a year earlier, on improved sales and cost-reduction measures.

Toray also booked ¥16.21 billion in operating profit, against an operating loss of ¥2.39 billion in the same period the previous year, on consolidated sales of ¥350.36 billion, up 25.7 percent.

The Tokyo-based company attributed the earnings improvement to stronger sales efforts and cost cutbacks.

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