Japan Tobacco Inc. (2914), Asia’s largest listed cigarette maker by market value, forecast this year’s annual profit below analysts’ estimates.
Net income will probably be 318 billion yen for the year ending in March 2013, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement today. That was lower than the 341 billion yen average of eight analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales are expected to reach 2.12 trillion yen, said the company.
Japan Tobacco is increasing dependent on the overseas business as the company faces a shrinking domestic market. Its domestic market share fell to 55 percent in the year ended March 2012 from 64 percent a year ago because the earthquake triggered reduction of tobacco shipment. Japan Tobacco will be more dependent on overseas markets, President Hiroshi Kimura said on April 23.
Japan’s only tobacco maker is aggressively expanding overseas through acquisitions. The company bought Sudanese tobacco maker Haggar Cigarette & Tobacco Factory Ltd. for about $450 million in 2011. Its biggest acquisition so far is the U.K.-based Gallaher Group Plc for about 9.4 billion pounds in 2007.