Over half of major listed firms post higher net profits

Major listed companies in Japan are in the middle of reporting earnings. One brokerage says the latest numbers show most businesses did well in 2023.

SMBC Nikko Securities says more than half of the companies logged an increase in net profits for the nine months from April to December. The brokerage analyzed the numbers of 957 companies or nearly 70 percent of all firms that had reported earnings by Thursday.

They say 537 firms, or 56 percent reported an increase in net profits. Automakers and machinery makers saw gains in earnings, mainly thanks to the yen's depreciation and passing on costs.

Land and air transportation and retail firms also logged increased profits, as they benefited from the growing number of overseas tourists in Japan.

However, SMBC Nikko says 402 companies, or 42 percent, reported profit declines or net losses for the nine months.

Among them are chemical firms, which were hit by falling demand for smartphone-related products.

The wholesale sector, including trading companies, also reported profit declines as resource prices flattened out after previous strong gains.