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Nippon Suisan's Third Quarter Performance Indicates 155% Increase in Ordinary Profit

February 8, 2010

Nippon Suisan announced its third quarter financial report for the fiscal year ending March 2010: sales ended in \365.6 billion with a decrease of 8.6 percent over the same period a year ago. However, operating profit was up 9.5 percent to \6.709 billion; ordinary earnings went up by 155 percent to \6.254 billion; and net income came to \2.197 billion, which was a net deficit of \6.594 billion last year. The forecasts of the whole business year are the sales of \480 billion; the operating earnings of \8.5 billion; ordinary proceeds of \7 billion; and the net profit of \2 billion.

Seafood Business Registers Operating Loss Due to Declines in Quantities and Unit Prices

Though Marine Product Business received a revenue increase from Kyowa Suisan's joining as a consolidated subsidiary, the main commodities of surimi, crab, salmon/trout, and cod roe, experienced sliding sales volume as a consequence of a consumer-spending freeze. On top of decreased sales prices, losses on inventory appraisal were reported.

In addition to declines in haul, production quantities, and sales volume seen in North America, South America, Europe and Asia, sales prices slumped. This division ended in the sales of \135.9 billion, a drop of \30.6 billion, and the operating loss of \670 million, a decrease of \4.9 billion.

Processed Food Business increased sales in frozen foods, temperature foods, as well as fish sausage; however, chilled foods tumbled. In overseas operations, though King & Prince Seafood Corp. exhibited continuing struggle, Shandong Sanfod Nissui, Ltd. in China improved the balance of production, leading to the sales of \192.2 billion with a decline of \5.1 billion from the last year and the operation profit of \3.9 billion, a rise of \5.2 billion in this division.

General Distribution Business reported the sales of \8.965 billion, an increase of \300 million, and the operating earnings of \1.5 billion, a decline of \39 million. Fine Chemicals Business reported the sales of \17.4 billion with an increase of \384 million and the operating earnings of \3.6 billion, or an increase of \100 million, resulting from favorable performances of pharmaceutical operations and health-oriented products.

The original article was published on February 8, 2010 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

National Ocean Aquaculture Association Plans to Produce Similar Amounts of Fish to Last Year

February 8, 2010

The National Ocean Aquaculture Association (Chairman Katsuji Shimano) held a convention (aquaculture planning meeting) inviting representatives from each prefecture at Kobe, Hyogo on February 5. The pressing issue of, "Urgent requests for stable production and management of sea aquaculture industry" was discussed.

The urgent requests are: 1) stable supply of feed; 2) continuation and enhancement of financial support; 3) fisheries mutual aid system; 4) establishment of a price stabilization fund; 5) clarification of red tide generating mechanism and promotion of preventative measures; and 6) responses to consumers. At the National Ocean Aquaculture symposium scheduled for February 24, the urgent requests will be demanded directly to the government and related groups.

Additionally, the association determined this year's release amounts: Japanese amberjack (buri)/yellow tail 16.5 million (16.44 million last year; 100.4% year to year); amberjack (kanpachi) 8.305 million (8.49 million; 97.8%); yellowtail amberjack (hiramasa) 1.012 million (725,000; 139.6%); and red sea bream 40.787 million (42.1 million; 96.9%).

Chairman Shimano made a comment: "Taking the current financial situation into consideration, we decided to keep the numbers similar to last year. If we decrease the planned production figures more than before, we will end up losing producers' will to produce. Although the emergence of red tides caused the production amount of Japanese amberjack, buri, to tumble last year, it wasn't projected in the market at all. We see no reasons for increased production at the current market prices."

The original article was published on February 8, 2010 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Japan's Leading Fresh Fish Store, Uoriki, Registers Favorable Result, 99% Over Last Year, at Year-End Sales

February 5, 2010

Among fresh fish specialty stores, Uoriki, headquartered in Tokyo under the management of President Shigenori Ito, has its own special pizzazz in the marketplace. Director Masanori Yamada, who handles the Merchandize Department, was interviewed as to the year-end sales season and North America operations. Mr. Yamada serves as the President of Uoriki Fresh, Inc., a company launched in the US.

[About the 2009 year-end sales season]

We projected that the 2009 year-end sales season would be tougher than 2008 due partly to reduced bonuses. Therefore, we set a goal of 100 percent for sales year over year.

Sales for the period of November to mid December ended in a little over 95 percent compared to the year before. During last four days of the year, we could reach 99 percent, not that bad at all.

Unlike other fish stores, our policy is to offer fish at reasonable prices without adding any high markups when going rates are low. As a result, we could increase sales volume of tuna, shrimp, and snow crab. Other products' sales finished in less than 95 percent because of low unit prices.

[Red part of tuna]

Uoriki has a policy to carefully select tuna in particular for our clients. We have a wide variety of tunas, fresh bluefin, frozen, cultured tunas, and ones from Tsukiji Market. What differs from other stores is that clients can procure the fish at the most appropriate time throughout the year.

As for red part of tuna, we could foresee its increasing prices towards the end of the year; so, we stockpiled longlined SA grade bigeye tuna from Korea during summer. Thanks to that, we were able to offer this high-grade bigeye at cheaper prices than our counterparts, securing enough profits.

There are a great number of customers who purchase tuna on December 30 or 31 and consume it on January 1 and/or 2. SA grade tunas are called "chijire" (the flesh gets frozen while fish is still alive) and the flesh becomes more delectable a day after the purchase. We could sell the fish at the right timing for customers to consume for the New Year's.

[Frozen Cultured Tuna]

With high inventory volume, farmed tuna prices remained low all throughout the year in 2009. For that, we were able to provide the fish at the cheapest price in 50 years.

At the storefront, we recommended the fish to customers by saying "Tuna is a great deal this year. Specially, you can have fatty, delicious tuna from Mediterranean cheaper than past years."

For an early bird special, we sold two blocks of frozen Mediterranean tuna, weighing 380-400g, for \2,480. This price was over 30 percent cheaper than last year. As a result, we sold frozen farmed bluefin tuna 30 percent more than last year.

[Domestically famed tuna]

What sold more than frozen farmed bluefin tuna was domestically farmed bluefin tuna, which we could offer fresh. The tastiest tuna is fresh, unfrozen tuna after all. When asked if we carried "more delicious tuna" than frozen farmed tuna, we recommended domestically cultured fresh bluefin.

We deal with Takuyo's Amami bluefin. Its sales growth didn't reach 30 percent; but sales were better than Mediterranean bluefin.


Because of the dearer yen, we could procure Australian tiger shrimp cheaper than past years. We offered five 6.8 size Australian tiger shrimp for \1,000. Regular supermarkets would price it for about \1,500. It's large size shrimp with nice presentation quality. We moved 1.5 times more than usual.


We sold 1.2 to 1.3 times more of snow crab, which was priced moderately. As for king crab, we moved 40 tons during the last four days before the New Year's. Our annual event of cutting up a crab in front of customers never failed to capture their attention and we sold the same amount as last year.

[Fish roe]

Fish roe, like salmon roe, as a whole had a hard time. Even though sales volume increased, low unit prices didn't bring in any profit. Sales total was 90 percent year over year.

[Farmed amberjack, sea bream, and others]

They moved as did last year. We provided larger size sea bream this year, and therefore we ending up selling a little more than the previous year.


Within the last four days of the year, 20 tons of octopus, or 25 tons, when octopus from Hokkaido and a steamed kind included, were sold, which was basically about the same as past years.

[Kneaded fish products]

They displayed a sluggish move on the 29th; however, they began to move more smoothly in the afternoon of the 30th. We could sell everything by noon of the 31st.

[Herring roe]

Uoriki sold more herring roe than our competion. For years, President Ito himself takes leadership for procurement. We could sell high quality roe, which was popular.

The original article was published on February 5, 2010 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Toyo Suisan's 3Q Indicates Tremendous Profits

February 4, 2010

Toyo Suisan announced its consolidated financial results for the third quarter: the sales of \242.117 billion, down 0.5 percent from the same time last year; the operating proceeds of \26.394, up 24.2 percent; ordinary earnings of \27.451 billion, up 23.8 percent; and the net income of \16.552 billion, up 36.3 percent.

The division of marine foods "grew sales of herring roe, shrimp, and tuna; however the main forces of salmon, crab, and mackerel slumped" (the company's statement), ending in the sales of \26.074 billion with a drop of 11.1 percent and the operating profit of \391 million, down 55.7 percent.

30 Percent Increase in Planned Net Income, \18.5B, For Whole Fiscal Year

The division of processed foods, according to the company, "registered slight year-on-year losses in bagged instant noodles, but the domestic sales of cup noodles grew." Instant noodles as a whole achieved increased sales. Uncooked noodles exhibited no changes from the previous year. In the category of frozen foods, "Although frozen noodles and frozen vegetables proceeded as planned, they failed to offset losses on prepared foods, leading to a slight decline overall." The sales of this division grew 0.6 percent, totaling \202.811 billion and operating profit climbed 29.3 percent to \24.779 billion.

The division of cold refrigeration reported the sales of \10.071 billion, down 5.6 percent, and the operating earnings of \747 million with an 8.9 percent increase, resulting from "a diminishing inventory amount, mainly of imported goods, due to the slumping domestic market and limited inventory by cargo owners."

The forecast of the whole financial year is as follows: the sales of \316 billon (down 1.9 percent); the operating earnings of \30 billion (up 20.1 percent); the ordinary profit of \31 billion (up 16 percent) and the net income of \18.5 percent (up 33.8 percent).

The original article was published on February 4, 2010 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

December Household Expenditure: Marine Foods Drop 6.1%

February 4, 2010

According to the family income and expenditure survey for the month of December summarized by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the monthly expenditures for households of two or more persons contracted 0.3 percent to \337,887 per household, of which expenditure on food was down 2.5 percentage points to \94,670. \12,112 was spent on marine foods with a decline of 3.4 percent. The following drops were seen, compared to the same month last year: fresh fish (6.1 percent); shellfish (2.3 percent); kneaded fish products (1.4 percent); other processed marine products (2.1 percent); and dried seafood/seaweed (9.2 percent).

Expenditures on fresh seafood fell 5.7 percent to \6,320. Marine species that exhibited outstanding contractions were saury 35.3 percent; Japanese horse mackerel 21.2 percent; flounder 14 percent; amberjack 13.6 percent; squid 11.5 percent; tuna 10.6 percent; and shrimp 10.3 percent. Other items, such as sea bream, salmon, and octopus, also decreased. On the other hand, sardine and crab thrived, showing increases by 19.4 and 12.7 percent respectively. Bonito and mackerel followed suit and rose.

The amount used on fresh shellfish products came to \632, down 2.3 percentage points. While scallop shrank 8.5 percent, Japanese littleneck exhibited a 12 percent increase. Oyster went up by 2.3 percent; fresh water clam remained unchanged from the corresponding month a year earlier.

\2,443, up 0.7 percent, was consumed on dried-salted seafood products: salted salmon (7.2 percent), dried sardine (3.6 percent), and cod roe (3.4 percent) showed increases. Conversely, dried Japanese horse mackerel and boiled-dried fish displayed substantial decreases by 24.3 and 21.8 percentage points respectively.

An amount of \1,686 was spent on kneaded fish products with a decline of 1.4 percent. Fried kamaboko (8.7 percent), chikuwa (1.7 percent), and kamaboko (0.4 percent) dropped all across the board.

Consumers used \1,662 on other processed seafood products, which was down 2.1 percent. The following products showed contractions: canned marine foods 10.9 percent; cooked marine foods 4.6 percent; and pickled seafood 2.1 percent. Dried seafood and seaweed came to \1,316, down 9.2 percent: both dried kelp and wakame (Undaria pinnatifida) slumped by 21.6 and 21.1 percent respectively. Expenditure on prepared, cooked foods was \11,355, a decrease of 0.4 percent. BBQ eel, however, displayed a tremendous rise of 53.6 percent. Take-out sushi also increased 0.7 percent. Money spent at restaurants added up to \14,794, down 1.7 percent. Sushi grew 0.4 percent.

The original article was published on February 4, 2010 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

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