February 6, 2018 / 7:05 AM / 8 months ago

RPT-Japanese trader Marubeni books record Apr-Dec profit on higher coal, copper prices

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TOKYO, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Japanese trading house Marubeni Corp on Tuesday posted a 53-percent jump in April-December net profit and lifted its full-year forecast by 18 percent, boosted by higher copper and coal prices.

Marubeni’s net profit for the nine months through Dec. 31 grew to a record 164.8 billion yen ($1.52 billion), mirroring similar strong results from peers Mitsubishi Corp, Mitsui & Co Ltd and Itochu Corp.

The company raised its forecast for the year to March 31 to 200 billion yen from 170 billion yen, beating a mean estimate of 185 billion yen from seven analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. It also increased its annual dividend outlook to 29 yen per share from 25 yen.

“Stronger contributions from Chile’s copper mines and Australian coal assets, as well as higher income from transportation, paper and pulp and livestock-raising were behind the upward revision,” Marubeni Chief Financial Officer Nobuhiro Yabe told a news conference.

A U.S. corporate tax cut also led to a 6 billion yen gain, he added.

Still, Marubeni plans to remain cautious in making fresh investment in energy and metal assets, Yabe said, adding that the company would prioritise an improvement in its financial health. ($1 = 108.7700 yen) (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi Editing by Joseph Radford)

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