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Higher metal prices boost Mitsui's mineral, metal segment profit in fiscal Q1'18

Mitsui & Co. Ltd. on Aug. 3 posted a ¥35.1 billion year-over-year increase in profit attributable to owners of the parent for its mineral and metal resources segment to ¥54.4 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2018.

The mineral and metal segment's gross profit increased year over year from ¥30.5 billion to ¥56.9 billion. The ¥26.4 billion boost includes a ¥13.6 billion increase at the unit's Australian operations due to higher coal prices.

Mitsui's iron and steel products segment also saw its profit increasing, by ¥4.8 billion to ¥6.9 billion, while gross profit for the segment improved by ¥4 billion on a yearly basis to ¥12.7 billion on the back of higher profit from the Australian iron ore business thanks to increased iron ore prices.

The Japanese trading house reported an ¥8.2 billion increase in profit during the quarter against its equity stake in Vale SA mainly due to higher iron ore prices and a reversal effect related to a provision for the year-ago quarter.

The company also recorded a ¥3.4 billion profit increase on its investment in Chilean copper mining company Inversiones Minerax Acrux SpA, mainly related to the reversal of an impairment loss.

The Mitsui group posted an 81.1% year-over-year jump in profit attributable to owners at ¥110.76 billion, or ¥62.75 per share, for the quarter that ended June 30. Revenue for the quarter likewise improved 15.9% to ¥1.182 trillion.

Its fiscal 2017 dividend was ¥55 per share, down from ¥64 in fiscal 2016, although it is forecasting a rise in the payout to ¥60 per share in fiscal 2018 on the back of a ¥320 billion profit forecast.

As of Aug. 2, US$1 was equivalent to ¥110.48.