February 5, 2018 / 7:34 AM / 18 days ago

Japanese trading house Mitsubishi Corp raises profit outlook on higher coal prices

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese trading house Mitsubishi Corp (8058.T) on Monday reported a 12-percent rise in April-December profit and raised its full-year forecast again, boosted by stronger-than-expected coking coal prices.

The company’s recurring profit for the 9 months through Dec. 31 came to a record 416 billion yen (£2.68 billion). Its forecast for the year to March 31 was upgraded to a record 540 billion yen from 500 billion yen, beating a mean estimate of 522 billion yen among 9 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The change in forecast follows an upward-revision in November to 500 billion yen from 450 billion yen, surpassing a record 471.3 billion yen reached in the year to March, 2008.

The results follow record earnings from trading houses Mitsui & Co Ltd (8031.T) and Itochu Corp (8001.T).

Mitsubishi Corp’s Chief Financial Officer Kazuyuki Masu told a news conference on Monday that coking coal prices had been higher-than-expected, partially due to stronger appetite from Chinese buyers.

    “But the rally has been overdone. We expect the coking coal prices to head slightly lower through the end of March,” Masu said.

    To reflect healthy earnings, the company also increased its annual dividend outlook from 95 yen per share to 100 yen per share.

    Reporting by Yuka ObayashiEditing by Joseph Radford

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