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Showa Shell's energy segment seen returning to profit in 2017

TOKYO -- Major oil distributor Showa Shell Sekiyu's business segment responsible for solar panels and electric power is expected to generate an operating profit of about 5 billion yen ($44.4 million) in fiscal 2017 after two years in the red.

     The energy solutions business used to be the second biggest earner for the Japanese company behind the petroleum operation, before suffering a 10.1 billion yen operating loss in the year ended Dec. 31. Purchase prices for renewable energy under the feed-in tariff system went down, hurting demand for solar panels.

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