November 12, 2007


Ajinomoto lowers 2007 profit outlook


Japan's Ajinomoto Co. on Friday (November 9) reduced its forecast profit ranges for fiscal year 2007 ending next March due to volatility of grain prices which increased uncertainty about its feed-use amino acid business.


The major Japanese seasoning producer now sees its group net profit will come in a range of 33.5 billion yen (US$303.56 million) to 35 billion yen (US$317.21 million), compared with its earlier forecast of 33.5 billion to 36.5 billion yen, and operating profit in a range of 75 billion to 77.5 billion yen, instead of 75 billion to 80 billion yen.


The downward revisions came following to swings in the prices of corn, soy and other crops that affect the sales prices of Ajinomoto's amino acids sold as animal nutrition.


The company, meanwhile, raised its sales forecast to 1,225 billion yen from 1,210 billion yen on strong demand for its food products in overseas markets.


It expects higher prices of raw materials to push down profits from its food operations in Japan by over 3 billion yen.


For April-September, Ajinomoto reported its net profit grew 2.6 percent from a year before to 13,966 million yen, while operating profit rose 3.3 pct to 28,547 million yen, on sales of 609,603 million yen, up 6.1 percent.


The earnings growth was led by brisk sales of its signature "Ajinomoto" seasoning product in Asia as well as strong seasoning sales in Latin America, the company said.


US$1 = 110.29 Japanese Yen (as of November 12, 2007)