May 22, 2014 11:32 pm JST

Itochu Enex profit seen up 12% in fiscal 2014, topping estimate

TOKYO -- Itochu Enex's operating profit is seen growing 12% this fiscal year to around 15 billion yen ($146 million), thanks largely to its planned acquisition of a car dealer affiliated with Nissan Motor.

     The Japanese energy trader initially projected a 3% increase to 13.8 billion yen.

     Sales are seen climbing 13% to 1.7 trillion yen, up from initial guidance showing a 6% rise to 1.6 trillion yen. Itochu Enex will purchase more than 51% of the outstanding shares of Osaka Car Life Group at the end of this month, a move expected to boost revenue by some 100 billion yen.

     This will mark Itochu Enex's first foray into new-car sales. It plans to use the Itochu group's network to boost auto sales, and synergies with such businesses as auto services and petroleum product sales are anticipated as well.

       Net profit will likely grow 12% to slightly more than 8 billion yen, with electricity retailing contributing to the bottom line as well.