May 15, 2017 / 6:19 AM / in a year

Japan Post forecasts a profit this year, amid search for acquisition targets

TOKYO, May 15 (Reuters) - Japan Post Holdings Co said on Monday it expects to post a profit this fiscal year, emboldening its plan to continue growing through acquisitions despite last year’s loss from a massive writedown on its Australian logistics unit.

Japan Post, 80 percent state-owned, said it saw a profit at 400 billion yen ($3.5 billion) in the year to March 2018, above an average forecast for a 373 billion yen profit from eight analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

In the previous fiscal year, Japan Post said it lost 29 billion yen after a 400 billion yen impairment charge at Toll Holdings. That was lower than an initial estimate of a 40 billion yen loss announced last month.

Japan Post is considering buying Nomura Real Estate Holdings in a bid to make real estate operations its new earnings pillar, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Saturday.

In response to the media reports, Japan Post said: “We are exploring various possibilities regarding new capital and business alliances and will make an announcement promptly once matters that should be made public are finalised.” ($1 = 113.6800 yen) (Reporting by Thomas Wilson; Editing by Randy Fabi)

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