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Paper makers report net losses, dwindled net profits.

TOKYO, May 28 Kyodo

All of Japan's five major paper manufacturers took a hammering from falling prices and sales during fiscal 1998 with their unconsolidated net balances deteriorating, according to their results released through Friday. Three of the five -- Oji Paper Co., Daishowa Paper Mfg. Co. and Mitsubishi Paper Mills Ltd. -- racked up net losses. The remaining two -- Nippon Paper Industries Co. and Daio Paper Corp. -- saw net profits plummet 65.9% and 76.4%, respectively. The fiscal year ended March 31. Oji incurred net losses of 29.9 billion yen on sales of 844.3 billion yen. For Daishowa the respective figures were 11.2 billion yen and 270.4 billion yen, and for Mitsubishi, 6.0 billion yen and 173.4 billion yen. Nippon Paper posted 5.1 billion yen in net profits on sales of 561.3 billion yen, down 17.4%. Daio had net profits of 0.5 billion yen on sales of 300.3 billion yen, a fall of 2.8%. Oji Paper, Japan's largest paper maker, saw its net balance sink into the red as it had to write down unrealized capital losses on its share holdings, the company said. Daishowa Paper saw its net balance fall into the red for the first time in three years. The company's sagging profitability has forced it to skip dividend payments for the seventh consecutive fiscal year. The following are the financial results of the five paper makers for fiscal 1998. Figures are in billions of yen with numbers in parentheses indicating year-on-year percentage changes. Minus denotes either a loss or year-on-year percentage fall. The sign (=) signifies inability to compare on percentage terms on a year-on-year basis.
 Sales Pretax Profit/ Net Profit/
 Loss Loss
 Oji 844.3 (-12.7) 4.2 (-89.4) -29.9 (--)
 Nippon561.3 (-17.4) 6.5 (-78.5) 5.1 (-65.9)
 Daio 300.3 (-2.8) 3.4 (-59.8) 0.5 (-76.4)
 Daishowa 270.4 (-16.4) -10.5 (--) -11.2 (--)
 Mitsubishi 173.4 (-6.9) -7.4 (--)-6.0 (--)

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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:May 31, 1999
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