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Japan’s Mitsui & Co soars to over 13-year high on commodities boom

By Mensholong Lepcha

08:27, 3 August 2021

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Mitsui Logo on a smartphone screen
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Japan’s Mitsui & Co soared to an over 13-year high on Tuesday after the company saw quarterly profit jump three-folds following strong performance by its mineral and metal resources division on the back of booming commodities prices.

One of Japan's fabled sogo shosha, or general trading houses, Mitsui & Co said quarterly profit attributable surged 205% to JPY191.26bn ($1.75bn) from a year ago.

The company raised its full year ended March 2022 profit attributable outlook by about 40% to JPY640bn from previous forecast of JPY460bn. 

Mineral and metal division profits surge

Mitsui’s mineral and metal resources division contributed to over 60% of the quarterly profit and reported a near 90% jump in quarterly profit attributable.

Performance in its mineral and metal resources division was helped by higher sales prices from coal, copper and iron ore mining operations in Australia and Chile, Mitsui said.

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The Tokyo-headquartered company added that increase in dividend income from Brazilian miner Vale further boosted earnings. Miners around the globe have reported record earnings in 2021 after iron ore prices hit all-time high prices in May allowing iron ore miners including Rio Tinto and BHP to distribute enormous dividend payouts. 

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Highest since May 2008

Investors cheered the news and pushed shares of Mitsui up over 6.5% to JPY2,735 to its highest since May 2008.

The trading house said it would pay JPY90 per share in annual dividend, up JYP5 from last year.

Mitsui said quarterly revenue grew 44% to JPY2,658trn. The Japanese firm added that it gained JPY3.5bn following Nasdaq-listing of electric vehicle technology company Proterra.

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