Mitsubishi Raises Profit Forecast 33% on Coking Coal Price Surgeby
Net income forecast for year ending March lifted to 440b yen
Coking coal prices increased almost three-fold last year
Mitsubishi Corp. raised its profit forecast and dividend as Japan’s biggest trading house rebounds from its first annual loss amid surging prices for coking coal.
The Tokyo-based company raised its net income forecast 33 percent to 440 billion yen ($3.9 billion) for the year ending March, it reported Thursday along with third-quarter results. The company also raised its full-year dividend to 70 yen per share from 60 yen.
China’s efforts to cut overcapacity in its coal sector led to a price surge last year with coking coal almost tripling in 2016. Mitsubishi, which also cut costs at its Australia mining venture, is forecasting its highest net income since fiscal year 2012.
The new profit forecast exceeds rival Itochu Corp.’s, which said in November it expects profit of 350 billion yen. Mitsubishi’s net income more than doubled to 191.7 billion yen in the third quarter, from the same period a year earlier, according to calculations based on nine-month results released on Thursday.
Hard coking coal averaged $266.59 a ton in the last quarter, the highest in data from The Steel Index going back to 2013. Prices were unchanged at $169.70 a ton on Wednesday and have dropped 25 percent this year.