Royal Dutch Shell Group .com Showa Shell Now Expects Fiscal Year Group Net Profit Y2.3 Billion ( 27 Jan 05    


Thursday January 27, 3:03 AM EST


TOKYO -(Dow Jones)- Japan's Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. (5002.TO) Thursday raised its group net profit for fiscal 2004, mainly due to an improving profit margin for its refined products sales.


The Japanese oil refiner now expects a group net profit of Y2.30 billion for the year ended Dec. 31, compared with its mid-November projection of a break- even net profit.


The country's oil refiners raised their wholesale prices of primary refined products such as gasoline and gasoil several times last year, when the global crude oil price climbed to record levels.


The projected net profit figure is lower compared with the Y21.0 billion recorded for Showa Shell's group net profit for fiscal 2003. The company last year applied stricter accounting rules and expects to book appraisal losses on its assets.


Showa Shell, however, lowered its group sales forecast for 2004 to Y1.839 trillion, down 0.6% from its previous projection of Y1.850 trillion, citing sluggish domestic heating oil demand hurt by the warmer-than-normal weather in October through December.


-By Shigeru Sato, Dow Jones Newswires; 813-5255-2944; shigeru.sato@


-Edited by Shawn Schroter 

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