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Japan Tobacco Profit Rises 32%

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Japan Tobacco Inc. 2914.TO +0.88% said Thursday that its net profit for the fiscal year ended March grew 32%, due to strength in its overseas tobacco and pharmaceutical business.

The world’s third-largest tobacco company by sales volume after Philip Morris International Inc. PM +1.71% and British American Tobacco BTI +0.17% PLC, posted a net profit of ¥320.88 billion in the just-ended business year against a ¥243.32 billion profit a year earlier.

Revenue dropped 1.2% to ¥2.034 trillion from ¥2.059 trillion, while operating profit increased 14% to ¥459.18 billion from ¥401.32 billion.

The earnings are based on International Financial Reporting Standards, which the company has decided to adopt from the just-ended business year to better account for global sales in more than 120 countries.

Only a handful of Japanese companies have introduced IFRS accounting standards.

For this fiscal year ending March 2013, the company predicts a 0.9% decline in net profit to ¥318 billion with a 5.2% rise in operating profit to ¥483 billion. Revenue is pegged at ¥2.120 trillion, up 4.2%.

Separately, JT also said it is considering buying back shares worth ¥250 billion in preparation for the government’s stake sale. The Japanese government plans to cut its 50% stake in JT to one third, by selling about 16.6% of JT’s outstanding shares, to raise funds for reconstruction after the March disaster.

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