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Mitsubishi ups FY earnings, dividend forecast on higher metal prices

Mitsubishi Corp.'s metals business recorded a profit of ¥130.3 billion for the nine months that ended Dec. 31, 2016, an increase of ¥153.6 billion on a yearly basis from ¥23.3 billion, the company said Feb. 2.

The rise was mainly due to higher earnings in the Australian coal business due to lower production costs and higher market prices, as well as larger dividends from investments, and one-off gains from the company's withdrawal from a nickel project.

Meanwhile, the Japanese group's overall profit attributable to owners increased 54.8% on a yearly basis to ¥371.54 billion, or ¥233.89 per share.

The resources segment contributed ¥180.8 billion to the group net profit, rising year over year by ¥170.4 billion.

Consolidated revenue for the nine months, however, dropped 13.4% to ¥4.689 trillion due in part to price declines stemming from lower market prices and decreased sales volumes.

For the 12 months ending March 31, Mitsubishi increased its full-year profit guidance to ¥440 billion, from ¥330 billion previously, thanks to higher commodity prices, particularly for coking coal.

Likewise, the company also increased its full-year dividend forecast to ¥70 per share, from the ¥60 per share previously forecast.

As of Feb. 1, US$1 was equivalent to ¥113.46.