Over half of Japan firms post higher Apr.-Sep. net profits

Companies listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange are releasing their midterm earnings for fiscal 2023. More than half the firms that posted their results for the April-September period say they saw net profit growth.

SMBC Nikko Securities released an analysis of firms listed mainly on the former First section of the TSE that had reported results by Thursday.

Of the 996 businesses, 527, or 52 percent, showed net profit growth.

The combined profit of the companies that reported results was up just over 7 percent compared to the same period last year.

Manufacturers in the transport sector, including automakers, saw a huge profit increase due to the weak yen and the lifting of Covid-related restrictions.

The food industry reported higher profits as well, apparently because of success in passing on cost increases to customers.

Yasuda Hikaru, a strategist at SMBC Nikko Securities says such solid performances and record profits are enough to raise wages. He also says the key to Japan's economic expansion is a healthy inflation cycle of wage increases, price hikes for goods, and higher earnings. Yasuda adds he hopes that the wage hike trend will not only spread to major companies, but to small and midsize ones as well.