THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Showa Shell's Group Net Profit Soars Amid Rise in Oil Prices (ShellNews.net) 16 May 05
By SHIGERU SATO
DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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