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Seafood giant Maruha Nichiro likely netted record first quarter

TOKYO -- Japanese seafood giant Maruha Nichiro is expected to report a pretax profit of around 6.5 billion yen ($64 million) for the April-June quarter, up 93% on the year and a record for the period.

Maruha Nichiro's earnings rebounded from a slump in its North American salmon-processing business caused by a poor catch in the year-ago period. In the domestic market, the company's household frozen foods business fared well. These factors apparently offset the foreign exchange loss caused by a stronger yen.

Overall sales likely declined slightly to roughly 214 billion yen. Overseas subsidiaries in North America and elsewhere logged lower profits in yen terms but their performance improved in their local currencies. In addition to the recovery in North America, Maruha Nichiro enjoyed brisk Australian sales of Patagonian toothfish, also known as Chilean sea bass.

Operating profit apparently surged about 150% to around 7 billion yen. The operations previously under defunct subsidiary Aqli Foods likely bled less red ink on a recovery from a 2013 pesticide contamination scandal as well as smaller sales and administrative costs.

For the full year through March 2017, Maruha Nichiro is expected to retain its forecast of a 5% gain in pretax profit to 18 billion yen when April-June results are released Monday.

(Nikkei)

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