Japan Tobacco Raises Profit Forecast on Weak Yen

Japan Tobacco Inc., Asia’s largest listed tobacco maker, raised its profit forecast as a weaker yen boosts the value of overseas earnings.

Net income will probably be 330 billion yen ($3.6 billion) for the year ending March, higher than its previous forecast of 318 billion yen, the Tokyo-based company said yesterday in a statement. That compares with a 331.4 billion yen average of 17 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Japan Tobacco shares rose 4 percent to close at 2,961 yen in Tokyo today.

Japanese companies from Toyota Motor Corp. to Canon Inc. have raised their profit forecasts as a depreciating local currency helps them compete with rivals in international markets and raises the value of overseas earnings. The yen has lost about 16 percent against the U.S. dollar in the past 12 months.

Net income rose 14 percent from a year earlier to 263.7 billion yen in the nine months ended December, according to the statement. Sales grew 4 percent to 1.6 trillion yen in the period.

The cigarette maker has introduced new products such as “Pianissimo Precia Dia’s Menthol” to boost sales in Japan.