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Nippon Soda seen snaring record profit

TOKYO -- Agrochemical maker Nippon Soda's group pretax profit likely came to about 14.5 billion yen ($122 million) for the three quarters ended Dec. 31, a new record for the period.

     That would represent a roughly 50% jump from a year earlier. A U.S. equity-method affiliate which makes feed additives fueled the profit growth, performing well amid rising U.S. demand for meat. Equity-method profit also swelled due to the weak yen.

     The Tokyo-based company's sales apparently climbed 3% to around 106 billion yen. The agrochemical business saw healthy exports to places such as Brazil and North America even as it struggled domestically. For chemicals, sales were brisk for additives used to harden pills, as well as those used in paints and adhesives.

     For the full year ending March 31, Nippon Soda forecasts 147 billion yen in sales, a slight dip from a year earlier. Pretax profit is projected to surge 27% to a record 18.9 billion yen. The company plans to overcome the lackluster domestic agrochemical market by capturing demand in Brazil, North America and Asia.

(Nikkei)

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