Marubeni halves forecast, takes charge for Gavilon

by World Grain Staff
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TOKYO, JAPAN — Marubeni Corp. said on Jan. 26 that it is halving its annual profit forecast due to an impairment charge for its Gavilon grain unit as well as falling oil, copper and coal prices.

The Japanese trading house said it is now forecasting a net profit of 110 billion yen ($935 million) for the year ending on March 31, compared to the prior forecast of 220 billion yen that it reaffirmed in November 2014.

Gavilon’s performance is expected to fall short of the original business plan, as was the case in the previous fiscal year, Marubeni said. Because of this, the company said it conducted a review of Gavilon’s business plan, and expects to recognize an impairment loss of 50 billion yen.

Marubeni said it would consolidate business divisions and strengthen oversight to catch risks early, but would continue to seek out investment opportunities.

"We did not expect (crude oil prices) would fall below $45. There is no mistake that this was quite different from our earlier outlook," Marubeni President Fumiya Kokubu told reporters at a hastily called news conference on Jan. 26.

Kokubu and Marubeni's chairman, Teruo Asada, will take a 50% pay cut in February and March, while the salaries of all senior executives will be cut by 30% for the year that starts in April.

Marubeni said it will take a charge of about 95 billion yen for losses on investments in oil and gas assets, including 60 billion yen for North Sea projects. It is taking a 10 billion yen impairment charge on its Chilean copper business.

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