Grim tales for Japanese paper makers


Marzec 3 200 – Tokyo (JPN): Japan’s four midsize paper and pulp manufacturers expect to see earnings deteriorate amid falling paper prices and rising fuel costs, according to online Japanese news service Nikkei.

Daio Paper, Hokuetsu Paper and Chuetsu Paper all anticipate declines in their fiscal 2004 pretax profits. Daio has reversed its forecast from a 3 per cent increase to ¥31 billion ($295.5 million) to a 17 per cent drop to ¥25 billion; Hokuetsu estimates a pretax profit fall of 4 per cent to ¥12 billion, marking the first drop in four years; and Chuetsu has revised its forecast down to an 18 per cent decrease to ¥3.7 billion.

Mitsubishi Paper Mills, which will be absorbed by Chuetsu in October, expects to post a net loss of ¥24 billion.