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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Showa Shell's Group Net Profit Soars Amid Rise in Oil Prices ( 16 May 05




May 16, 2005


TOKYO -- Showa Shell Sekiyu KK said its group net profit soared 90% in the first quarter amid strong domestic demand for kerosene, the main heating oil in Japan, and a rise in global crude-oil prices.


Group net profit rose to 10.93 billion yen ($101.8 million) from 5.77 billion yen a year earlier, the Japanese oil refiner and wholesaler said.


Group revenue rose 18% to 523.35 billion yen from 445.32 billion yen a year earlier as higher crude-oil import costs bolstered prices of the company's wholesale refined products, such as kerosene and gasoline.


Showa Shell said the sales volume of its refined products rose 1.7% in the quarter to 8.48 million kiloliters on strong domestic demand for heating oil and gasoline.


According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan's kerosene sales rose 11.2% in February from a year earlier to 4.4 million kiloliters, following a 0.7% rise in January, when a series of cold snaps bolstered demand for kerosene. In March, Japan's kerosene sales rose 5.4% to 3.7 million kiloliters.


For this year, Shell is forecasting a group net profit of 35 billion yen, up from its February projection of 29 billion yen.


The company also raised its group-revenue projection to 2.19 trillion yen from 1.98 trillion yen.


For the previous year ended Dec. 31, 2004, the company reported an 89% year-to-year drop in its group net profit to 2.36 billion yen, as it booked 33.7 billion yen in special losses on its assets in accordance with new Japanese asset-impairment accounting rules.


Write to Shigeru Sato at 


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