Nippon Express Profit Tumbles 22 Percent

Nippon Express Profit Tumbles 22 Percent

Nippon Express, Japan's largest freight forwarder, said its net profit plunged 21.9 percent in the first nine months of fiscal 2010, which started in April, from a year earlier to $123.2 million.

The Tokyo-based company's group revenue grew 3.9 percent in the April-December period from the same nine-month period of the previous fiscal year to $14.8 billion. Its group operating profit declined 11.1 percent to $304.2 million.

Nippon Express managed to eke out the $123.2 million group net profit despite extraordinary losses totaling $210.2 million.

By The Numbers: U.S. Container Trade With Japan

Of the extraordinary losses, $91.5 million resulted from the application of the accounting standards for asset retirement obligations and $72.0 million resulted from the valuation of investment securities.

The company also suffered another extraordinary loss of $41.8 million stemming from the disposal of fixed assets.

The Nippon Express group companies in the Americas posted revenue totaling $392.6 million from the forwarding business in the April-December period. They posted operating profit totaling $15.1 million in the nine-month period.

The Japanese economy "remained in a difficult situation" in the April-December period, Nippon Express said in its earnings release.

"Although corporate earnings continued to improve, concerns grew about a possible downturn in the Japanese economy due to high unemployment, a further appreciation of the yen and unstable overseas economic conditions," the company said.

"Demand for international freight transportation continued its moderate recovery trend, buoyed by increased exports to emerging countries. But the Japanese distribution industry's business conditions continued to be tough, as demand for domestic cargo transportation remained sluggish," the company said.

-- Contact Hisane Masaki at yiu45535@nifty.com.