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Ad agency Dentsu's fight against overwork weighs on profit

Japanese group increasingly relies on overseas acquisitions for growth

Japanese ad agency Dentsu has worked to improve its corporate culture after an employee's 2015 suicide was ruled to be caused by overwork.

TOKYO -- Dentsu's annual operating profit fell despite growing revenue, as Japan's top advertising group took steps to ease a notoriously high-pressure work culture blamed for the death of a young staffer.

The company on Tuesday reported revenue of 928.8 billion yen ($8.63 billion) for the year ended December, up 10.8% over the previous year. But underlying operating profit, a measure taking into account M&A-related costs, slid 1.6% to 163.9 billion yen. With 13 billion yen earmarked for work reforms this year, Dentsu continues to try to recover from the damaging revelations about its work environment.

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